Mississippi GOP senator: Home state's Confederate flag belongs in museum
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Mississippi’s two Republican senators are calling to replace the state’s flag, which includes the Confederate image that has reignited controversy in the wake of a massacre at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE joined Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBottom line Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Senators: US allies concerned Senate won't pass annual defense bill MORE Wednesday in calling for Mississippi lawmakers to “consider changing the state flag."


“As a proud citizen of Mississippi, it is my personal hope that the state government will consider changing the state flag,” Cochran said in a statement. "The recent debate on the symbolism of our flag, which belongs to all of us, presents the people of our state an opportunity to consider a new banner that represents Mississippi.”

Earlier in the day, Wicker pressured Mississippi to replace the 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 Wednesday morning.

Wicker said the Confederate flag has become too divisive.

"As the descendant of several brave Americans who fought for the Confederacy, I have not viewed Mississippi’s current state flag as offensive,” Wicker said. "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."

Mississippi's state flag is one of the last in the South that includes the Confederate battle flag. The image is seen in the top-left corner of the state flag.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Wednesday ordered the removal of a Confederate battle flag from a memorial on the state Capitol grounds, according to a report in an Alabama newspaper.

"This is the right thing to do," Bentley told AL.com. "It was my decision that the flag needed to come down."

Even though Alabama is removing the Confederate battle flag, three other Confederate-linked flags are still standing at the memorial, according to the report.

Bentley's action follows steps taken by South Carolina officials to remove the Confederate flag from that state Capitol's grounds

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday announced a plan to remove the Confederate flag from state-issued license plates.

— This story was updated at 3:10 p.m.