Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze says he supports removing the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

Freeze spoke Thursday before appearing at Southeastern Conference Media Days. He says that while he is "not a political figure" he believes "it's time we move in a different direction and change the flag."

Freeze grew up in Mississippi and has "great appreciation" for people who have pride in the state's heritage. But he adds "that symbol has been hijacked by some groups that mean ill will toward some people."

Debate about Mississippi's flag and other Confederate symbols reignited after the June 17 massacre of nine worshippers at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State have already issued statements in support of changing the flag.


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