Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker believes it’s time to change his state’s flag to remove its reference to the Confederacy, he told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday.
“I don’t think our current flag is unifying and I think it’s time to put it in a museum,” said Wicker, a Republican.
The flag of Mississippi, a state that seceded during the Civil War, depicts the Confederate battle flag’s stars and bars in its top left corner. The Confederate emblem has come under fire in the wake of last week’s deadly massacre at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, after photographs of shooter Dylann Roof surfaced showing him posing with the controversial flag.
“I think this Charleston massacre gives us an opportunity to revisit this issue,” Wicker said.
Wicker, a decedent of Confederate soldiers, said that although he doesn’t see the flag as hurtful, “my fellow brothers and sisters in the state of Mississippi do feel that it’s a hurtful symbol and we ought to just do something that’s more unifying.”
In 2001, the state of Mississippi voted to keep the Confederate symbol a part of the state flag through a referendum vote.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, also appearing on “New Day,” joined Wicker in calling for the removal of the Confederate flag.
“We’re one nation under God, indivisible. These are the principles that are important, not only for the flags we fly across our country, but also the work we do,” Booker said.
Others who have come out in support of altering Mississippi’s flag include Sen. Thad Cochran and Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn.