A Message From Gary

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

Posted by TheDuke in Site News September 21, 2012 5:03:00 PM UTC |

Leave a comment (101 Responses)


jennyfrancis // July 24, 2013 7:03:52 AM UTC

I am married to a black man and seen skynyrd many times. The flag is a part of history and the country i love. I love Gary's explanation...


rebeldude175 // July 21, 2013 10:28:56 AM UTC

Very well stated sir!



imafantoo // July 11, 2013 4:22:03 PM UTC

I am of African American decent and I am a big fan. I've never seen L.S. and have been wanting to go but feeling unsure about the crowds that the band might draw.
I have seen concert footage but didn't recall seeing the C-flag but maybe in the back of my mind I did see it and could be what was hindering me. Personally, I don't like any flags but especially the C-flag. It's unfortunate that L.S. choses to make a political statement on stage because that is what that is.

My daughter bought tickets for the Jiffy Lube concert because I was talking about how I wanted to see the band. I really didn't want her to buy those tickets. We talked about her trying to win tickets but I didn't want to buy tickets because I wasn't sure if I would really go. Anyway, since reading that the C-flag will be flying I know that I cannot go. I would like to get my money back or at least the money that would have gone towards L.S. band.

Anyone want tickets in section102?


Dezza // 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?


Centerline // December 17, 2012 1:49:15 AM UTC

Let me help you out with your notion that the rebel flag is a symbol of any noble "States Rights" philosophy that the "New South" likes to hide behind. Anyone who has actually studied the Civil War and the lead up to it knows clearly that slavery was an economic institution of the highest magnitude and the desire to preserve it as such was the overwhelming reason for the war.

No one sums it up better than Alexander Stephens (Vice President of the Confederacy) who, on March 21st 1861, gave a speech on why the Confederacy wanted to seceed. These were his exact words.

"The prevailing ideas entertained by Thomas Jefferson and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature - that it was wrong in principle - socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent [temporary] and pass away. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. . . . and the idea of a government built upon it. . . . Our new government [the Confederate States of America] is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid - its cornerstone rests - upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man. That slavery - subordination to the superior race - is his natural and moral condition. This - our new [Confederate] government - is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth"

It's time that the South faced up to it's true legacy and stop glorifying it's sorry past.


brian71 // December 14, 2012 4:34:11 AM UTC

right on brother!!


ls-jreb61 // November 24, 2012 10:13:22 AM UTC

@jmillcentral: guess what the Amercian Flag represents alot of racist assholes as much or even more than the Confederate Battle Flag does. Yes white racist have miss used the flag because the battle flag was carried in battle it repeat is not a racist symbol


Autie12 // November 14, 2012 8:41:53 AM UTC

Well, it looks to me like here we go again, having to explain Southern Pride. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with hating anyone.Those of us from the South know that, and have known that all our lives. Southern pride and the flag is about respect for our families and friends and neighbors. We don't hate anyone who's not from the South.Why can't they understand? When I listen to The Ballad of Curtis Leow, the opening lines about picking up soda bottles to get some dough (money) was what we all did. I got up every saturday morning about 5 am to go out in fields near me where people would throw old coke - soda bottles put them in a bag and carry them to 7 eleven or stop n go, to redeem them for money usually about 15 cents a bottle. Just an example so I knew and understood what Ronnie was saying.
But the Rebel (Confederate flag) , my Great Grandfather fought at Chickamauga, and all through Tennessee and Virginia, being captured there at Richmond.He enlisted in Alabama. He was proud of his heritage,He fought under that flag, bled under it, and all he wanted in return was to live , go to church, worship God his way,Love his wife, raise kids, be as prosperous as he could. He didn't go to New York and say hey you can't live your way any longer, and let's not forget that Northern people at the time were making money exporting cotton and other things to England,and selling things grown and raised in the South over seas, with the majority of profits going back to Northerners. I don't hate them because they made money off of the South. How would you feel if someone walked into your home and told you, you have to raise your kids our way, and have to live your lives the way we tell you. You wouldn't like it, that my friends is why they called it a rebellion, they same as when the English came over and told us how to live. We resisted. Our Country was born on rebellion, do we look down on the American flag because it's a rebellion no. Even the English don't hold a grudge against us now.
The Stars and Bars stand for the Thirteen States in the South who banded together to fight against tyranny from the North.It didn't have to do with hating black people. There were some problems in my opinion , but we were working on resolutions to fix those problems, sure some people are misguided and believe in hate.There's an old saying "You never can Please , all of the People All of the time". You never hear about Black Panthers just the KKK. why is that? They hate the same as the KKK. So why aren't they just as newsworthy? Only white people are to be blamed for everything.There are a lot of Good God Fearing white people out there. I am a Republican as was my father and grandfather before me.And because I think Republicans do better than Democrats on issues about Economy, and Self Defense, and in negotiations with foreign countries, Democrats say I'm wrong. I don't hate the President for how he believes,I disagree with him on many things, but that's life.In other words don't go labeling a Southerner a rascist when you haven't walked in his shoes, lived his life,seen what he's seen. It's wrong , we people in the South are taught at an early age, never judge a book by the cover. Who are you to sit in judgement of us? The Northern media Washington Post, New York Times etc are really great about furthering the hatred issue and telling people that the Rebel Flag only stands for hatred. It doesn't and NEVER EVER DID. They do that because some people are easily led, and also to get higher ratings and sell more newspapers. So Grow UP, Live Your Lives, Raise Your Children, and TRY PLEASE TRY FOR ONCE! , to simply get along with your neighbors who mean you no ill will. I've heard it said Live and Let LIVE. The world would be a better place if we tried that. Besides, Native Americans had it much worse and are still having it worse than ANY race in America. Period so go check out our history and see for yourself. One fact you may not know - at the beginning of the War Between the States, Robert E. Lee, freed his slaves at the beginning, Ulysses S. Grant kept his until the end of the war.


celticwarrior // October 31, 2012 12:43:53 AM UTC

Historical fact: Robt E Lee said just prior to his death in 1870: 'if I had known what the federal govt would do to our people after the War then I would have died with my brave boys sword in hand and there would have never been surrender.' What was lost at Appatomatox was freedom for you and me to live our lives without govt intrusion. We have never regained this freedom. The Confederate flag stands for freedom and Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
lynyrd skynyrd have abandoned their post, given into political correctness, taken down the flag with a pagan flag that stands for slavery.


josemar // October 30, 2012 12:30:14 AM UTC

@doggod: you're right!!

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