Bid to end Arkansas' Confederate Flag Day fails before panel

The Associated Press
An effort to end Arkansas' day set aside to commemorate the flag of the Confederacy failed before an Arkansas Senate committee on Monday.

LITTLE ROCK — An effort to end Arkansas' day set aside to commemorate the flag of the Confederacy failed before a Senate committee on Monday.

The proposal to end Confederate Flag Day, which is marked on the Saturday before Easter, failed before the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The bill was approved by the House earlier this month. It would have replaced the day with Arkansas Day, which the legislation says is intended to reflect the state's "rich history, national treasures, diverse cultures, unmatched hospitality, shared spirit, and human resilience."

The top Republican in the House had sponsored the measure and has said that Confederate Flag Day was enacted in response to the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.

Opponents who spoke to the panel, however, said they viewed the proposed change as downplaying the state's Confederate heritage.

The bill failed two years after legislation stalled that would have changed the meaning of one of the stars on Arkansas' flag that represents the Confederacy. A House committee rejected that proposal.

More:Arkansas House votes to end state's Confederate Flag Day