Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last original member, Gary Rossington, recently said the band would no longer fly the Confederate flag at concerts, stating that the flag represents hatred to a lot of people.
Many fans are upset by the decision.
While the band has displayed the Confederate flag in the past, it will no longer do so, Rossington said in an interview wih CNN.
However, the guitarist appeared to sing a different tune in "A Message From Gary" posted on the band's online site Friday: "We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows ... I only stated my opinion that the [C]onfederate 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."
Previously, Rossington told CNN: "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 was 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."
For many bands, a comment like this would simply pass without notice. However, many of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fans appear to have very strong opinions about Southern culture and the use of the Confederate flag. The CNN article quickly generated many negative comments directed toward Rossington.
"Good luck with your next release 'Sweet home Massachusetts.' I am sure it will climb the charts with a bullet in Yankee-land," one commenter wrote.
"This isn't the real Lynyrd Skynyrd anyway. They should have taken a name like 'Obama's Politically Correct Sell Your Soul Make Believe Impostors' or something," another commenter wrote.
One commenter was particularly harsh about Rossington’s remarks, writing, “Lynyrd Skynyrd (R.I.P.) Imposters, frauds, fakes, wannabes, shadows, skeletons, posers, shells, and imitations, here's hoping that you also crash and burn, if not literally, then at least your pathetic attempt at rekindling something which you've obviously lost touch with.”
The “crash and burn” remark is especially savage, given the 1977 plane crash that killed band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines, among others.