Top lawmaker: Remove Confederate sign from Mississippi flag

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A top Mississippi lawmaker says the Confederate battle emblem is offensive and needs to be removed from the state flag.

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday that remembering our past is important, “but that does not mean we must let it define us.”

Mississippi and Tennessee officials are grappling with whether to retain Old South symbols, even as South Carolina leaders are pushing to remove a Confederate battle flag that flies outside the statehouse there.

Mississippi voters decided by a 2-to-1 margin in 2001 to keep the state flag used since 1894. One of its corners has a Confederate battle emblem.

Some Tennessee officials want to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol. Forrest was a Confederate general and an early Ku Klux Klan leader.

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