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  • » From "A Message From Gary" // March 29, 2013 3:42:57 PM UTC

    I am a working man from Northern England which is the economic and cultural equivalent of the South in the US. I've worked my way up by hard graft to be comfortable enough now. I spent 11 years in the North Eastern US and now I live in Australia. But I'm a Southern Man at heart always will be.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd have been part of my life for more than 30 years. I respect and support whatever the band do because I know in my heart they are basic, decent people who genuinely care about people. I support them for not using the backdrop and I support them if, after thinking about it, they put it back.

    The flag went on my first acoustic guitar and then on my first electric when I was too young to know it could have any other meaning other than Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    To me the flag means sticking up for yourself, it means upholding the values of the working class man, it means basic human values and common decency, it means taking pleasure in the mountain streams and the air that you're breathing, it means loving and caring for one another but never being afraid to stand up for your values, it means being a hard man when you have to but getting the hell outta dodge when things get out of hand, it means getting drunk as a skunk but realising it will kill you in the end, it means friends and family, it means music where the words speak to you, about you, and to us, about us. It means me and who I am, helped in a small but significant way by everyone in the band, past or present, over the years. It means Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    I will never take the flags off my guitars because they mean what they mean to *me* and they mean nothing that anyone else might try to tell me they mean.

    I would have agreed with taking the flag down if I were a band member. But I'd probably put it back up again myself because I *know* what it means to me. And only each and every one of us knows what it means to us.

    A heartfelt thank you to you all, Lynyrd Skynyrd, for making my life just a bit better than it might have been. What song is it you want to hear?

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