U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, said Wednesday he believes the state flag of Mississippi, which features the Confederate emblem, should be replaced.
“After reflection and prayer, I now believe our state flag should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all Mississippians,” Mr. Wicker said in a statement. “As the descendant of several brave Americans who fought for the Confederacy, I have not viewed Mississippi’s current state flag as offensive. However, it is clearer and clearer to me that many of my fellow citizens feel differently and that our state flag increasingly portrays a false impression of our state to others.”
The push to change or remove Confederate symbols has picked up in the wake of last weeks shooting deaths at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The suspected gunman has a history of association with white supremacist sites and an image of him with the Confederate flag has surfaced online.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and other political leaders in South Carolina called earlier in the week to remove the Confederate flag from state Capitol grounds in Columbia.
“This is an issue to be decided by the legislature and other state government officials and not dictated by Washington,” Mr. Wicker said. “If I can be part of a process to achieve consensus within our state, I would welcome the opportunity to participate.”
Mississippi’s Republican state House Speaker Philip Gunn has likewise called for the state flag to be changed, the Clarion-Ledger reported.