Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, previously denied that the face covering — a red mask with blue stripes and white stars — was the Confederate flag, telling WLNS-TV 6 that his wife made the face covering and told him the mask was more similar to the Kentucky or Tennessee flag.

A Michigan senator has apologized for wearing a face mask that appeared to depict the Confederate flag during a Senate vote at the state Capitol last week

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Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, previously denied that the face covering — a red mask with blue stripes and white stars — was the Confederate flag, telling WLNS-TV 6 that his wife made the face covering and told him the mask was more similar to the Kentucky or Tennessee flag.

In a statement released Saturday, Zorn said he was sorry for his "choice of pattern" on the face mask.

“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. My actions were an error in judgment for which there are no excuses and I will learn from this episode," he said in the statement.

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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.

— Dale W. Zorn (@DaleZornSenate) April 25, 2020

Zorn on Friday told WLNS he told his wife the mask would probably "raise some eyebrows."

"It was not a Confederate flag," he said. "I think 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. 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.”

When asked by a reporter what the flag stands for, Zorn replied, "the Confederacy."

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, retweeted the WLNS article and said he was "at a loss for words."

" ... I’m just really disappointed to see him make a choice that is deeply hurtful to so many people. When he was called out for it, he didn’t seem to even understand or acknowledge what the problem was," Ananich said.

Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said Shirkey "would not support or encourage any senator to display an insensitive symbol on the Senate floor."

"Sen. Zorn removed the item when the concern was raised and has made clear that was not his intent and apologized," McCann said.

Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, said the Confederate flag should never be worn, "especially by an elected official."

"It dishonors our fellow Michiganders. It dishonors the battle flags in our rotunda. It dishonors our state," he said in a tweet Friday.

The Senate on Friday voted to create an oversight committee to examine how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has handled the coronavirus crisis and also approved bills limiting power from the governor's office during times of "public crisis."