March 15, 2016
http://jacksonfreepress.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2016/03/15/NH_105363_t670_t620.png?fbf2daa044e08a86b24c9c38cd7501865a0e2373" align="right" style="margin: 5px;" />In the wake of Gov. Phil Bryant's http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/feb/24/mississippi-governor-declares-april-confederate-hi/">declaration of Confederate Heritage Month, the NAACP of Mississippi has created a petition calling for "Union Army Appreciation Month."
"It is time for Governor Bryant to honor those brave White and Black men and women of Mississippi who fought for what they believed in, who fought for their freedom, who fought for their country and the preservation of the Union, who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation and the promise of equality it held. Governor Bryant should proclaim the month of May UNION ARMY APPRECIATION MONTH and finally give those brave soldiers the honor and acknowledgement they deserve." the petition reads.
The petition notes that thousands of Mississippians fought for the Union army during the way; the first Mississippian to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor was a black man, Wilson Brown in 1864; thousands of white and black soldiers "take their final rest" at Vicksburg and Natchez National Cemeteries.
The petition also notes that while the Confederate battle flag's emblem appears in the Mississippi state flag, black troops in the Union Army had their own infantry flags that should be flown with equal pride in the state.
"If we are to honor those who battled in the Civil War, let us honor all soldiers or, at least, those soldiers who fought for the nation and not against it," the petition reads.
See more here: https://s.bsd.net/onevoice/main/page/file/fce199875c71e820c6_f7m6bq3xi.pdf">"Gov. Bryant, We Need a Union Army Heritage Month."
(The image shown is the http://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/us-people/b/brown-wilson/nh-105363.html">reverse of the Medal of Honor awarded to Landsman Wilson Brown, USN. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.)