Lynyrd Skynyrd Anger Fans By Denouncing The Confederate Flag

Legendary Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd have angered some fans by announcing that they will stop using the Confederate imagery.

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Legendary Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd have angered some fans by announcing that they will stop using the confederate flag, which for much of their career had been featured prominently on their stages, logos, t-shirts and other tour merchandise.

The band's lone original member, guitarist Gary Rossington, recently told CNN that the group does recognize the racial divide that comes with the flag, which was flown by the confederacy of 11 southern "slave" states who seceded from America during the Civil War.

As he explained, "Through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads kinda kidnapped the Dixie or Southern flag from its tradition and the heritage of the soldiers. That's what it's all about. We didn't want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things."

However, not all fans agree with this decision. A number of them criticized the group on the CNN message board. One hit out at the band for just erasing the imagery altogether rather than attempting to educate their fans. It was also suggested repeatedly that by removing the Confederate imagery, the group was alienating a segment of their audience those who identified with the band's longtime embrace of all things southern.

Another commenter simply altered a Skynyrd lyric, explaining, "Well I hope Lynyrd Skynyrd will remember, a Southern man don't need THEM around anyhow."

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's not like it changes the music by any means. If some fans can't get over it, then are they really fans of the band, or fans of the flag?
    This makes me like them even more. Sorry hillbillies, the Confederate flag represents a lot more then runnin' moonshine and being a good ol' boy. It represents a wanna be country that couldn't stand the fact they were going to have to try and run an economy without slave labor.
    Second Rate
    Did you know: -Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist who was hated almost universally by the abolitionists that made up the "radical" faction of the Republican Party? -The Civil War was fought over Lincoln's attempt to re-entrench mercantilism as the U.S. Economic system at a time when Capitalism had proven to be far more successful? -Lincoln supported the proposed "Corwin Amendment" to the U.S. constitution that would have made southern slavery permanent had they just fallen in line with his ass backwards economic philosophy? -That Lincoln jailed political dissidents who spoke out against his fallacious war while simultaneously criticizing Jefferson Davis for doing the same thing? The bottom line is. Bitter yankees need to stop oversimplifying the cause of the U.S. Civil War. It was fought over a multitude of things, the chief one being dueling economic philosophies. The vast majority of southerners in the 1860s were too poor to afford the ownership of slaves.
    So it would've been better had the Confederacy won their independence and half the U.S. would've become a different country who's economy ran on slave labor who were primarily owned by the rich few? You can say there were other issues, but it all boils down to the fact they were going to to anything to keep their slave owning rights, and they should they should be able to because of states right's -- funny enough towards the end of the Civil War the Confederacy strengthened their central government so they could wield power and resources over its individual states. If you don't understand why the confederate flag is completely inappropriate, and really about the most unpatriotic thing an American citizen can display, then you obviously sympathize with the Confederacy and kind of wish they had won, which I don't understand.
    Second Rate
    Let me just ask you this. If the CSA had "won their independence" as you put it, and the economy still "ran on slave labour" (which it is kind of hard to assert that a country's economy runs on slave labour when only 15 percent of the population owned them), would it have any type of effect on your liberties and rights? No, no it would not. You obviously don't spend much time down south. The war is over, most people here got over it a long time ago. The only people i ever hear carrying on about it these days are poorly informed northerners like yourself. You can make all the simplistic, poorly informed accusations about me that you want, but it will not change the fact that Abraham Lincoln was nothing more than a petty, white supremacist tyrant who was simply seeking control. Tell you what, why don't you go read some of the unkind things that Lysander Spooner (a true abolitionist) had to say about old "honest abe" and his lackeys.
    I never mentioned Abe Lincoln. I would imagine 99.9% of people from the South aren't bitter about the Civil War. Again, if you don't see why the Confederate flag is extremely offensive to a good chunk of the population then you are lost. Yes, there are people who are indifferent to it - that doesn't make it right.
    Oh, Lynyrd Skynyrd stopped using a racist flag that has never been anything but racist and stupid rednecks get mad? What are the odds.
    Doesn't "lone original member" strike anyone as a cash-in on the brand name? "None of us could go anywhere without the name, so who cares about Ronnie & the Gaines. Billy and Leon, too. We need work." When 5 of the 6 original founders are dead, it's not the same band. Amazing people will still pay to see these guys.
    Lynyrd Skynyrd are actually putting out some really good music, God & Guns was an awesomne album. Yeah there's only one original member, but it's been a gradual replacement. Okay, 3 members died in the plane crash, but the survivng members continued with the name and were replaced when they left or died. It's still Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it's not a cash in like Thin Lizzy are. I mean, they've only got one original member left, and it's the drummer!
    good point-the music I've heard (radio only)seemed good. It still feels a little off to call it the same band, though. If they bring back Artemus Pyle, the jig's up.
    Oh give me a break. If people are honestly getting worked up over a band NOT using the flag anymore and not the other way around, something is seriously Fucked up.
    Right, the band that sings "Sweet Home Alabama" can no longer be identified as Southern because of the absence of the Confederate flag.
    Both sides are kinda stupid here, methinks. Skynyrd stops using the Confederate flag....40 years later? OK then. Pretty sure you've probably already offended anyone who was going to be offended. Fans get pissed, cause what, the band is changing? Just because they're stopping using a particular symbol? Whatever. I'm not a particular fan of the Confederate flag, nor do I hate it. But I will fully admit that when I see someone who uses it, it does raise doubts in my mind. But for a band like Skynyrd, who to the best of my knowledge have never espoused the racial overtones of the flag, I really don't care that they use(d) it.
    Oh they denounced a southern tradition? They'd best not denounce sleeping with your cousins or they'll lose half their fanbase.
    Good for them. The flag sort of has a negative connotation anyway, and I don't understand why people would get upset over it being removed. I knew this guy who only flew the Confederate Flag on his riverboat because he simply hated the government and thought the Confederates had the right idea. I guess if it weren't for people like him and the KKK and all that s**t the flag wouldn't pose a problem. But hey, there's always that nice flag with 50 stars and 13 stripes that shows patriotism well.
    Confederate Flag = Racism. Maybe not to certain circles but to most Americans, that flag conjures up images of slavery and bigotry. Good for Lynyrd Skynyrd for giving it up.
    Confederate flags automatically represent racism? That must be why they used it.. Not because it was a symbol for independence or a symbol for rebellion. It's kind of ironic when you call these people "rednecks" dumb.
    independence and rebellion is what it used to stand for. It's been kidnapped by skinheads and the likes of the KKK. Last i checked... they're pretty racist.
    Last time I checked Lynard Skynard were not in the KKK or skinheads. You've chosen to think that the majority of the people that use the flag are KKK members.. There are many people that obviously still know what it means, and are not racists. It also shows pride for the south, not pride for slavery. I've lived in southern states all my life. Many people have the flag, and aren't running around wild like you people seem to paint them.
    The swastika used to be a Christian symbol...good luck with that.
    A entire empire used that symbol.. The confederate flag is only used negatively by a few bad eggs. Not an entire people.
    They shouldn't discard after all these years, it's become their symbol. It would be like The Stones getting rid of the tongue
    The Tounge - A symbol often related to the lynching of humans with a different color skin, and a show of pride for the many ignorant hate-groups from the area. You're right, sir, it's exactly the same, let's tell The Stones to get right on that.
    Duh..where there's a message board, there's trolls. What kind of Linnerd Skinnerd fan would have anything to do with CNN anyways?
    "Well I hope Lynyrd Skynyrd will remember, a Southern man dont need THEM around anyhow." Very clever, knuckleheads
    Honestly, this irks me a bit. Im black and Ive been a fan of them since childhood and i fly a dixie flag proudly. Just because a few rascist *****s use it means they have to put it away?HELL NO! THAT FLAG STANDS FOR SOUTHERN PRIDE AND NOTHING BUT.
    It stands for a failed secession. It means nothing now. Get over it, you're still a part of America.
    You are absolutely right. The Confederate flag stood for Southern pride, state's rights, and a spirit of healthy rebellion. But it is very true that the Confederate flag has been used as a racist symbol. It is unfortunate that decent southern folks have to give up a symbol of their pride because of a small percentage of people. Many people are not aware that that symbol was NOT always a racist one. Times change, sometimes for the worse. Many southerners had to accept the loss of their old flag because of the way it is now perceived.
    back in the day ronnie van zant hung the flaq proudly on the microphone and waved it around. Johnny even used it. dont mess with tradition no ones complainede about it so why change the only people making an issue is you guys (lynyrd skynyrd)when i see the confederate flag i think of the south and southern rock its nothing to be ashamed of.
    Good for Gary! I think Ronnie,Allen,Leon,and the rest of the past members of LS will have felt the same! Fuck the teapulikkkans and racists types!
    Good lord, you're singing about your god, your guns and your whiskey all the time. As if the freakin' flag would matter now.
    Its not like Lynyrd Skynyrd will release anything cool with a new logo anyway. I like Johnny as a singer, but i honestly thought it sounded like Daughtry on their latest one (not a good thing). Just like Tuesday, Skynyrds gone with the wind in my book.
    Those lyrics in Sweet Home Alabama are a retaliation song to Neil Young, so whoever changed that lyric I hope they read this and they can go f--k them self!!!
    But NOT a retaliation to southern man. Lynyrd Skynurd like southern man because it criticises the racist side of the south , they wrote the song as they hate the song Alabama, which to be fair is harsh for the sake of being harsh on Neil's part.
    I never said that lynyrd skynyrd are skinheads or in the kkk. thats why they took it down so they dont want ppl to get the wrong idea, because theres ALOT of kkk members and skinheads who use it. you cant deny that there are alot of racists who dont interpret it the way its supposed to.
    I know what you mean, and I understand them taking it down. My comment was more towards your first comment. Saying that people with them makes you sick. People just need to understand that not everyone with a confederate flag is a racist, actually most of them aren't, they're just people with pride for the south. It might seem different, but when people that aren't from the south only get to see the flag in a KKK members hands on tv. Of course you would think that.
    you're not the only one from the south. and when i said makes me sick i meant that towards the racism. considering my skin isn't white, i've had a good share of racism towards me and towards my kind. most ppl from my school are pretty damn racist and just happen to wave that flag around. i've met very few ppl who JUSTS uses that flag for pride of south. maybe its different whatever part of the south you're from. so thats what makes me have my opinion for the people with that flag around here.
    I guess you're right. Different regions probably have different opinions. Though, Lynard Skynard WAS one of those people that just used it for that, along with many others. They were one of the few that helped give the flag a positive message. ( rebellion, independence, rock 'n' roll type shit. ) I took it as kind of surrendering it to the ignorant people, and when that happens people tend to forget the past.