‘Darn’ Tootin’ It Is!’: Gov. Tate Reeves Again Declares Confederate Heritage Month, SCV SaysBreaking News
tags: Confederacy, Mississippi, public history, Lost Cause, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Tate Reeves
Despite asking Gov. Tate Reeves’ office since late March if he planned to again declare April as Confederate Heritage Month with no response, this publication just found what appears to be this year’s proclamation. The new document, which Reeves apparently signed on April 7, 2021, appears on the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Camp 265 Rankin Rough & Ready’s Facebook page. Reeves is from Rankin County.
The proclamation does not yet appear on the secretary of state’s official proclamations page at press time. The most recent one on the page is dated March 29, 2021.
This writer found last year’s proclamation on a Sons of Confederate Veterans Facebook page rather than through official government channels as well, breaking the news at the Jackson Free Press. In a COVID-19 press briefing, Reeves later blamed a state statute for requiring the proclamation, which is not accurate. State law only designates the last day in April as Confederate Memorial Day.
In 2016, that publication had broken the news that Gov. Phil Bryant had quietly proclaimed Confederate Heritage Month, a long-time tradition by Mississippi governors, Democratic and Republican, that had flown under the media radar for years.
Bryant’s 2016 proclamation appeared then on the website of Beauvoir, the Gulf Coast home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which is now a museum that has long sold revisionist books about the Confederacy, as well as received state funds, and his staff then refused to return calls before the story broke. The Sons of Confederate Veterans run both Beauvoir, including a Confederate cemetery there, as well as its website.
That 2016 breaking story started a national conversation about the Confederate Heritage Month tradition and led to the popular hashtag #ConfederateHeritageMonth on Twitter often used to explode romantic myths about the Confederacy, including the falsehood that it was not about maintaining and extending slavery as Mississippi’s Declaration of Secession, and those of other soon-to-be Confederate states, made very clear.
“Darn’ tootin’ it is!,” the Rough and Ready’s Facebook page, celebrated at about noon on April 8. “It’s official-April is Confederate Heritage and History Month in our state of Mississippi and we observe it with pride! #ConfederateHeritage #SouthernHeritage #HonoringOurAncestors”
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