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Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Clarifies Comment: Confederate Flag Will Fly ‘Every Night’ Onstage

Johnny Van Zant
Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd — Fred Breedon, Getty Images

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and founding member Gary Rossington has clarified comments he made on a recent CNN interview, and now states that the band will display the Confederate flag at their shows ‘every night.’

Rossington spoke in the original interview about the negative associations made with the flag over the years, including its adoption by such hate organizations as the Ku Klux Klan. The guitarist added that such associations had caused the band to disassociate themselves from the flag, which had been a large part of their visual image over the years.

Some fans were quite vocal in their opposition to this change on various message boards, with some stating that the flag is a symbol of Southern pride. In a poll featured on our original story, 51% of readers stated that they did not agree with this decision.

Rossington has since posted a message at the band’s website to clarify his and the band’s position. It reads:

I wanted to clarify the discussion of the Confederate Flag in our recent CNN interview. Myself, the past members and the present members (that are from the South), are all extremely proud of our heritage and being from the South. We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights. 
We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost. We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag as well, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans. I only stated my opinion that the confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate… 

-Gary Rossington

Lynyrd Skynyrd are currently touring in support of their latest album, ‘Last of a Dyin’ Breed,’ with North American dates booked through the end of October.

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