Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on Monday praised his state’s move to officially erase the Confederate battle emblem, which is a symbol of white supremacy, from the Mississippi flag.
“It’s a symbol that more and more represents a day in the past that we don’t want to celebrate,” the GOP senator told CNN, describing the emblem as “divisive.”
Wicker argued that Mississippi’s decision came about in part because of NASCAR’s new ban on Confederate flags, which was “absolutely the right thing to do” and “created a bandwagon effect.”
His remarks contrast that of President Donald Trump, who fiercely opposes any effort to remove symbols, statues, and base names that honor the Confederacy.
While attacking NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on Monday morning, Trump bashed NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban and claimed it “caused lowest ratings EVER.”
During a White House press briefing several hours later, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to say whether Trump’s tweet meant he supported the Confederate flag and therefore believed NASCAR was wrong to enact the ban.
“The President said he wasn’t making a judgment one way or the other. You are focusing on one word at the very bottom of the tweet,” McEnany told reporters. “That is completely taking it out of context and neglecting the complete rush to judgment.”