Dale Zorn, a Michigan state senator, issued an apology on Twitter over the weekend after pictures circulated of him wearing a face mask resembling the pattern of the Confederate flag.
“I’m sorry for my choice of pattern on the face mask I wore yesterday on the Senate floor. I did not intend to offend anyone; however, I realize that I did, and for that I am sorry. Those who know me best know that I do not support the things this pattern represents,” Zorn wrote in the tweet.
“My actions were an error in judgment for which there are no excuses and I will learn from this episode,” he added.
Zorn was pictured wearing the mask on the floor of the Michigan Senate, drawing backlash.
“Frankly, I’m at a loss for words other than to say I’m just really disappointed to see him make a choice that is deeply hurtful to so many people,” Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich tweeted in response. “When he was called out for it, he didn’t seem to even understand or acknowledge what the problem was.”
Zorn told WLNS that his wife made the mask, and added that it was not the Confederate flag.
“I told my wife it probably will raise some eyebrows, but it was not a Confederate flag,” Zorn said. “My wife said it was more similar to the…Kentucky or Tennessee flag.”
“Even if it was a Confederate flag, you know, we should be talking about teaching our national history in schools and that’s part of our national history and it’s something we can’t just throw away because it is part of our history,” Zorn added. “And if we want to make sure that the atrocities that happened during that time doesn’t happen again, we should be teaching it. Our kids should know what that flag stands for.”