Virginia's governor has brought Confederate History Month back to the state for the first time since 2001.
Gov. Bob McDonnell designated April to commemorate the secessionist, slaveholding South. His two Democratic predecessors had refused issue the proclamation sought each year by Confederate descendants.
Richmond was the Confederate seat of government.
McDonnell's 368-word declaration does not mention slavery. The Republican governor said Tuesday that his intent was to honor the sacrifice on Virginia soil and promote tourism.
Black members of Virginia's General Assembly, all Democrats, called the proclamation offensive and disturbing.
Georgia's governor signed a bill last year designating a similar commemoration in that state.
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