Members of the Sons of the Confederacy and the United Daughters of the Confederacy gathered Saturday on the lawn outside the Gregg County Courthouse to mark Confederate Heroes Day.

As it has in past years, the ceremony centered around the Confederate monument at the courthouse in Longview.

Confederate Heroes Day has been a state holiday since 1973, when lawmakers voted to consolidate two state holidays: Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday on Jan. 19 and the June 3 birthday of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

Texas is one of nine states, along with South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee and Louisiana, that have holidays honoring Confederate soldiers.

A bill filed in the state Legislature in 2015 would have renamed the holiday Civil War Remembrance Day and moved it to May so as to not occasionally conflict with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but that proposal died in a committee without a vote.

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