Updated 11:20 a.m. | GOP Sen. Roger Wicker now says his home state of Mississippi should change its flag.
“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,” Wicker said in a statement. The change in position from the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman comes less than 48 hours after he told CQ Roll Call in a statement it was an issue for the state and the voters to decide .
The full statement from Wicker appears below:
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. 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.
In I Corinthians 8, the Apostle Paul said he had no personal objection to eating meat sacrificed to idols. But he went on to say that “if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, or makes my brother offend, I will give up eating meat.” The lesson from this passage leads me to conclude that the flag should be removed since it causes offense to so many of my brothers and sisters, creating dissention rather than unity.
This is an issue to be decided by the legislature and other state government officials and not dictated by Washington. If I can be part of a process to achieve consensus within our state, I would welcome the opportunity to participate.
Over on the House side, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson told CQ Roll Call in a Tuesday interview he is prepared to force a floor vote on whether Congress should remove his state flag from the tunnel connected the Capitol to the Rayburn House Office Building.
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