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Protests, pride on display for Confederate Memorial Day

State offices will be closed Monday in Alabama and Mississippi -- the only two states that honor Confederate Memorial Day.

The day observes those who died fighting for the South during the Civil War after those states seceded from the U.S.

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Opponents are against it because they say it honors those who fought to maintain slavery. Supporters say the holiday recognizes the history and legacy of those who fought in the Civil War.

“I’m troubled that in a state made up of 40 percent people of color, our leadership continues to openly sanction the use of taxpayer funds to endorse a neo-Confederate agenda,” Lea Campbell, president of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, said in a release.

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The group has a protest planned for Monday at the Harrison County Justice Court in Gulfport.

The Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans says it is a historical group working to preserve history and the day honors the legacy of those who fought.

Alabama and Mississippi are not the only states that celebrate their Confederate past. 

Georgia removed the “Confederate” designation from its holiday in 2015 but state employees still have the day off. Now the last Monday in April is called “State Holiday.”

In South Carolina, Confederate Memorial Day is celebrated in May to mark when Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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