The national president of a civil-rights group says Confederate symbols represent "treason" and should be removed from public objects, including the Mississippi state flag.

Charles Steele Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference says Confederate names should disappear from streets and structures. He says that includes the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, named for a Confederate general who became a Ku Klux Klan leader. Police attacked civil-rights marchers there in 1965.

Steele said at the Mississippi Capitol on Wednesday that the state should remove the Confederate battle emblem from its flag.

Since the massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two weeks ago, some Mississippi leaders have called for a state banner that would unify people. Gov. Phil Bryant says voters should decide the flag's fate.