Bryant declares April "Confederate Heritage Month"

Bryant declares April "Confederate Heritage Month"

Mississippi - Gov. Phil Bryant wrote a proclamation declaring April as Confederate Heritage Month in Mississippi.

According to ABC News, the proclamation was posted to the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans website, but not to the governor's site. He signed it days before legislators killed bills that would have either removed the Confederate battle emblem from the 122-year-old state flag or stripped state money from colleges and local governments that refuse to fly the current banner.

Bryant spokesman Clay Chandler said previous governors, Democrat and Republican, have issued similar proclamations for Confederate Heritage Month. Georgia law designates each April as Confederate History and Heritage month.

"Gov. Bryant believes Mississippi's history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be," Chandler said to CNN. "Like the proclamation says, gaining insight from our mistakes and successes will help us move forward."

Bryant said in his proclamation that April was selected because it is the month "the Confederate states began and ended a four-year struggle."

Democratic state Rep. Ed Blackmon, a member of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, said he has no problem with people honoring Confederate ancestors.

"But, at the same time, I would hope the governor would consider that people have problems with the Confederate flag," Blackmon said.

Blackmon said he grew up seeing the flag used by the Ku Klux Klan as a symbol of racial oppression. He said: "That's a part of history you cannot deny."

"I think that the Legislature is shirking its responsibility as a legislature to deal with the issue. It's been dealt with in every state in this country except Mississippi," John Horhn, a state senator from Jackson, told the station.

Bryant, a Republican, easily won re-election in November.