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Mississippi Republican tells Black lawmaker he ‘needs to learn’ as Confederate emblem flies behind them

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Philip Gunn and Robert Johnson III (MSNBC/screen grab)

A live television interview with two Mississippi lawmakers was tainted by a man who insisted on flying the state’s flag with a Confederate emblem in the background.

Just hours after Mississippi’s legislature voted to allow the Confederate battle emblem to be removed from the state flag, MSNBC spoke to state House Minority Leader Robert Johnson III.

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As Johnson spoke, a man behind him positioned the Mississippi flag so that the Confederate battle emblem could be seen above the Black lawmaker’s head.

“The flag is just a beginning,” Johnson said, motioning to Mississippi’s Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, who was also in the live shot.

“He decided to cooperate this time,” Gunn joked. “That’s what happened. And he needs to learn to do more of that.”

The remark caught Johnson off guard.

“Okay,” he said. “Well, I’ve learned. I’m older than he is. I would say that he has to learn. But both of us are learning. So, we’ll do that.”

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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