The Mississippi flag remains the last U.S. state banner to incorporate the controversial red, blue and white cross and stars, which has become associated with racism over the years.

It was most recently back in the headlines when Dylann Roof, the suspect accused of gunning down nine people in a South Carolina church in June (15), was pictured posing with the Confederate flag, and now a host of celebrities want Mississippi officials to wipe the symbol from the official state emblem.

The open letter, also signed by The Help author Kathryn Stockett and music producer/songwriter Glen Ballard, was published in Mississippi newspaper The Clarion-Ledger and reads, "It is simply not fair, or honourable, to ask black Mississippians to attend schools, compete in athletic events, work in the public sector, serve in the National Guard, and go about their normal lives with a state flag that glorifies a war fought to keep their ancestors enslaved. It's time for Mississippi to fly a flag for all its people."