Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze: Change Mississippi's state flag
The Mississippi flag bears the image of the Confederate battle flag in its top left corner, and is the only state flag that currently displays the rebel symbol.
Debate over the Confederate flag was reignited after the June 17 mass shooting at a Charleseton, S.C., traditionally black church, where nine African-Americans were murdered by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white male. Roof embraced the Confederate flag as part of his openly white supremacist ideology.
Last week, South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse grounds. Other public figures and institutions, including NASCAR, have also spoken out against the flag.
"Being a Mississippian I have a great appreciation for the Mississippi people and the pride we have in the heritage," Freeze said, according to The Clarion-Ledger. "Unfortunately that symbol has been hijacked by some groups that mean ill-will towards some people.
"While I'm not a political figure I strongly believe it is time we move in a different direction and change the flag. Hopefully that'll happen."
Freeze was also asked if Ole Miss' nickname–the Rebels–should be changed. He responded that if it was "troublesome" to people it should be addressed, but that he had not heard any negative feedback, according to Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis.
Freeze led Ole Miss to a 9-4 record in 2014, finishing third in the SEC West.
- Erin Flynn