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)


confederateguyton // September 23, 2012 10:04:13 AM UTC

I just listened to the CNN interview and Gary and Johnny turned their backs on their fans and on their southern roots and their confederate flag. Ronnie would never have done it. He was the true soul of the band, not these imposters. Even though Gary was one of the originals he has turned his back on his roots and his true fans.


joao victor // September 22, 2012 10:59:46 PM UTC

@Marcelo Dodson: I've never heard about it. it's awesome, just incredible!
I didn't know about ta festival or even about the migration for Brazil. Actually, you gave me something to study, as a history student! Thank you, very much!


Marcelo Dodson // September 22, 2012 10:43:34 PM UTC

@joao victor:I am a Brazilian descendent of Confederate families that moved to Brazil after the War Between States, or as we call it in Brazil, The Secession War. It is interesting that you mentioned about your difficulties to explain the flag meaning in Brazil.
As part of a big group of descendents, called "the Confederados", we are proud to know that our ancestors fought for states rights and liberty. Also, we are proud by all development that the Confederados brought to Brazil since 1865, when the first settler arrived at the city of Americana. They brought the Protestant religion, a new educational system, and agricultural technologies that are considerate the roots of the Brazilian agriculture strength.
Also, check on youtube the pasting Confederados festivals; you will see more than 1,500 people having fun at this part of the Dixie Land.
@ Gary: I always love your music, and now, I am going to spread the word to the Confederados that you are also a proud rebel. Next time you come to Brazil, I’ll be glad to show you this part of the Confederacy.
Marcelo Dodson
Fraternity of American Descendent- Santa Barbara D'oeste, SP, Brazil.
SCV Camp "The Confederados"


ls-lynyrd // September 22, 2012 10:22:21 PM UTC

we love you gary we know why you use the confederate flag people always gotta find fault with everything any skynyrd fan knows why you use the flag .and we are the biggest fans ever we are yankees from n.y. we got why can't everyone else? allen & terri finch


MicGivens // September 22, 2012 6:21:46 PM UTC

@TOOLBOX: Hi Toolbox. I am deeply saddened by this turn of direction. I love the music, always have and always will. But this is a blow. Tuesday's Gone is one of the best songs every written/recorded. The same can be said of so many songs by these incredibly talented men. But I know the truth of the Confederate Soldier, I've studied him and his cause for a very long time. Lynyrd Skynyrd was always a sort of support for the truth of the CSA merely by presenting our colours respectfully. Now, I will continue to listen to my favorite music but with a different and lesser respect. This pains me to no end. Contact me. I'd be pleased to discuss this further.


TOOLBOX // September 22, 2012 5:23:28 PM UTC

@kaybro2011: As Clapton once said " Before you judge me, take a look at yourself "


TOOLBOX // September 22, 2012 4:55:37 PM UTC

@MicGivens: Sir, Thank You for understanding my stance but, I have to ask you a simple question. You say that you thank them for all they've done in the past but, are you there for them now and in the future? TOOLBOX


MicGivens // September 22, 2012 4:27:03 PM UTC

@TOOLBOX: Sir, I have nothing but respect for you and understand your stance. Our problem is not that Lynyrd Skynyrd, with their recent statement, is denouncing the hateful rhetoric of those that misuse the flag, as we join them in that, but their capitulation to the demands of those who want Southern Heritage buried.

It is a wonderful thing that you know the band personally and can vouch for their devotion to God and Country. I do not doubt a word. Let's be clear, Lynyrd Skynyrd giving up the flag to the "kidnappers" is capitulation and marks a sad day for the ongoing defense of a culture constantly under attack. I thank Lynyrd Skynyrd for all they have done in the past and wish them peace and happiness.

God bless.


TOOLBOX // September 22, 2012 4:03:39 PM UTC

I've known Skynyrd , the past and present members for over 27 years. Gary,Dale, Rickey, and Johnny are very close friends of mine. I consider them family. I know of their love for God,our troops, Southern heritage and for our great nation. I've held Gary and Dale's daughters in my arms as babies and watched them grow up into beautiful ladies and moms. I've been there for the band thru the good times and the bad. I've been around the world with them. I've sat at their dinner table and broke bread with them. I know how hard it was for them to make that decision on the confederate flag. Because of a few bad people and groups in this country a lot of us have to suffer. The band is not denouncing the flag, they're denouncing the scum that uses it as a symbol of hate and control thru fear. Lynyrd Skynyrd is a true American band and are proud of their Southern heritage. Do you think for one minute that they would denounce their Southern roots?? Your wrong. Just listen to their music. It's all about the South, family,country, the good and bad times and fish'n. Most of us have grown up with Skynyrd music in our homes, cars, schools and bars. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the few things that has held true in this world. I ask you to be there for them as they've been there for you thru thick and thin for over 30 years! For the people that wish harm or death to Gary, may God have mercy on you .You'll have to go thru me first!!! I stand with Skynyrd!!! TOOLBOX


MicGivens // September 22, 2012 3:45:46 PM UTC

Dear Gary, Lynyrd Skynyrd, management, `et alia',

I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We are an organization, chartered in 1896 by veterans of the War for Southern Independence for the purpose of promoting the true history and principles of the Confederate soldiers’ cause. On behalf of our 31,000 members I write you today to express our deep sadness and concern over your present stance toward our venerable banner of the South. Your use of the flag in a manner that is up lifting and not aligned with any form of hate has been a stalwart defense of the flag’s true symbolism for many years. We appreciate and applaud your past efforts on behalf of our common ancestors.

Our biggest concern comes from your statement on the 8th of September 2012 to CNN. You disclosed, "But I think through the years, you know, people like the KKK and Skinheads and people have kind of kidnapped the dixie rebel flag from the southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers." Sir, our ancestors wrote the definition of that flag with their blood and when they furled the flag at the last battle they tucked their God-given liberty inside. The KKK and the Skinheads do not define our flag any more than the NAACP or any other hate group.

I am sure you do not agree with their hateful views of our flag, therefore I must ask you, who will stand up for the TRUTH, if not you and if not me? The answer is no one and without us the truth will be buried with the American Confederate flag. That is why we must not capitulate to their nancy demands.

Like many men in my organization, your music has been the soundtrack of my life. Your songs have helped define my own identity and Southernness. I have been a fan from the beginning. I was at the second to the last concert of the original band in Johnson City, Tennessee. All my best friends were at the Greenville, South Carolina concert a few days later. Then, our lives were changed forever—some much more than others. We have always been there for you. Your fans have not let you down. Do not let us down.

My fear is that you are living the song, WORKING FOR THE MCA and that Lynyrd Skynyrd has become the subject of a re-branding effort that hopes to make a kinder, gentler Lynyrd Skynyrd. I worked in the ad world for twenty years; re-branding’s not what we need. We need the honest and courageous Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Stay true to your people.

Please fell free to contact me if I may help. I wish you the very best and remain,

Respectfully yours,

Michael Givens
Sons of Confederate Veterans

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