LANSING, MI – State Senator Dale Zorn, R-Ida, apologized for his choice of motif in a mask he wore on Senate floor on Friday after being criticized by some who thought it represented a Confederate flag.
“I am sorry for my choice of pattern on the face mask I wore on Senate floor yesterday,” Zorn said in a statement on Saturday April 25.
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone; however, I realize I did, and for that I’m sorry. Those who know me best know that I can’t stand them. things that this model represents My actions were an error in judgment for which there are no excuses and I will learn from this episode.
Zorn, who represents the 17th state Senate district, which includes Lenawee and Monroe counties, initially denied the mask depicting a Confederate flag, WLNS-TV 6 on Lansing reported Friday. He told WLNS that his wife had done it and that he thought it was meant to represent the state flag of Tennessee or Kentucky.
“I told my wife it would probably raise eyebrows, but it wasn’t a Confederate flag,” Zorn told WLNS. “… Even if it was a Confederate flag, you know, we should be talking about teaching our national history in schools and that is part of our national history and that is something we cannot. not just throw away because it’s part of our history. “
Zorn’s choice of mask was criticized by a number of state lawmakers, as well as Attorney General Dana Nessel, who initially criticized some state news outlets for not talking about it early. Saturday.
Nessel has since deleted the tweet and clarified his support for the work being done by outlets, but has maintained his criticism of Zorn’s mask.
“I find this behavior appalling on an indescribable level,” Nessel wrote.
“I realize we have a president who suggests that ingesting disinfectant may be a viable cure for Covid-19, but it’s still America, and in Michigan, of all places, this conduct should be ridiculed in every public square. ”
State Senator Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, said the Confederate flag should never be carried, especially by an elected official.
“Don’t split hair with excuses for flags versus bandanas,” Irwin tweeted. “It dishonours our fellow Michigan citizens. He dishonours the battle flags in our rotunda. It dishonours our state.
When asked on Friday what the Confederate flag represented by WLNS, Zorn replied, “Confederation.” Watch the entire video here.
Zorn’s remarks came after the Senate voted to create an oversight committee to examine how Governor Gretchen Whitmer handled the coronavirus pandemic. The body also approved bills limiting the power of the governor’s office during a public crisis. Legislation supported by Zorn.