On Monday, the Republican Speaker of Mississippi’s House of Representatives said that the Confederate battle flag “needs to be removed” from the state flag’s design, calling the symbol “a point of offense,” the Associated Press reports.

“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Speaker Philip Gunn wrote on Facebook. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”

Earlier today, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley similarly advocated for the removal of the Confederate flag that flies in front of the South Carolina State House, saying, “This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”

In 2001, Mississippi voters were asked to choose between a version of the state flag that included the Confederate emblem and a new design that did not. By a margin of almost 2-to-1, Mississippians voted to retain the design bearing the Confederate symbol.

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