Rapper Q-Tip has taken aim at Kanye West for using the Confederate flag on merchandise for his Yeezus tour.

The ensign was adopted by the slave-owning southern U.S. states during the American Civil War, and the Jesus Walks hitmaker has been heavily criticised for using the controversial image.

West insists he is reclaiming it from racists, stating, "I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now..."

But A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip insists the rapper was not thinking clearly when he signed off on the design - because it still inflicts pain on members of the African American community.

Taking to Twitter.com, he writes, "F**k the confederate flag. I love Kanye... but my people continue to suffer psychologically from hardships that happened under that banner".

Q-Tip is scheduled to join West at his New York concert later this month (Nov13).