Some Southern legislators have met privately to discuss Confederate symbols and race relations.

The discussion took place Monday during the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was closed to the public and the media.

George Flaggs, a former Mississippi lawmaker who took part in the discussion, tells The Associated Press that black and white legislators from Mississippi, Georgia and other states had an open, honest discussion about how Confederate symbols affect race relations.

Flaggs, who is black, has publicly called for Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

Mississippi has the last state flag with the emblem, which critics see as racist.

More than a dozen people protested the Mississippi flag Saturday outside the opening of the legislative meeting.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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