Your morning jolt: Lynyrd Skynyrd rethinks Confederate flag retreat

As of this weekend, Chick-fil-A is no longer the latest commercial interest roiled by an attempt to disengage from the culture wars.

That honor has shifted to Lynyrd Skynyrd, now in its 42 year as the South’s premier rock band.

From left, Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant (cq) of the group Lynyrd Skynyrd during their 2007 induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. AJC file

From left, Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant (cq) of the group Lynyrd Skynyrd during their 2007 induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. AJC file

Earlier this month, in a CNN interview touting the band’s latest album, “Last of a Dyin’ Breed,” guitarist Gary Rossington – the group’s sole original member – explained why band members had distanced themselves from the Confederate battle emblem that had once been so identified with their performances. Said Rossington:

”It became such an issue, you know, about race and stuff, where – we just had it in the beginning as we were Southern, and that was our image back in the ‘70s, late ‘60s. They branded us as being from the South, so we showed that.

“But I think through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads and people have kind of kidnapped the Dixie or rebel flag from the Southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers, you know. That’s what it was about.

“They kind of made it look bad, in certain ways. 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.”

The remarks have not gone over well. On Friday, as Raw Story first reported, Rossington “clarified” his thinking on the band’s website:

“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 [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. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate…”

***
You think that Kasim Reed’s Sunday description of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a “bad NASCAR driver” was an impromptu product of the Atlanta mayor’s imagination? Consider this from Politicalusa.com:

According to a new Zogby Poll the wheels are close to coming off the Romney campaign. President Obama leads Mitt Romney among NASCAR fans, 48%-41%.

***
China appears to be then chosen topic of the day at the highest political levels. In a new TV ad, the GOP campaign of presidential nominee Mitt Romney claims:

“China is stealing American ideas and technology, everything from computers to fighter jets. Seven times Obama could have taken action. Seven times he said no. His policies cost us two million jobs. Obama had years to stand up to China. We can’t afford four more.”

No doubt attempting to pre-empt the attack, the Democratic re-election campaign of Barack Obama issued a memo on Romney’s 2011 tax returns, which includes this:

One of the many shocking revelations… was that he invested more than $75,000 in shares of Cnooc Limited, the Chinese state-owned oil company. It wasn’t until Romney decided that he was going to start talking tough on China in the context of his presidential campaign that he dumped the shares.

***
Kate McKinnon, a new cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” did a more than passable turn this weekend as Ann Romney, defending her husband against GOP back-biters:

***
In a surprising article marking the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the liberal website Daily Kos listed the movement’s “seven sins.” Among them was “wacko contamination:”

Well-meaning people from many backgrounds joined Occupy, hoping to lend their voices to a genuine people’s movement. Some of them suffer from psychiatric disorders that often lead to marginalization. Unfortunately, Occupy did not marginalize them as well. This means that folks obviously and transparently unable to behave appropriately in community were given the floor for misbehavior ranging from self-centered ramblings to physical violence. Repeatedly.

***
Speaking of life on the streets: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today is to unveil his own anti-panhandling ordinance – after vetoing one recently passed by the City Council.

While on his most recent “Meet the Press” visit to Washington, Reed was asked by Daniel Malloy, the AJC’s man in D.C., why he didn’t work with council members to help them avoid his rejection. Reed’s reply indicates that he wants to bring state Capitol sensibilities to City Hall:

”I respect legislators. I was one for 11 years. If I were moving a bill, I would go speak to the governor’s office, the Speaker and the lieutenant governor. It’s not the reverse. So I don’t know where other folks got their legislative training.

“The legislative training I received said that if you’re carrying an item that has to be implemented by the executive branch, you may be the one that has a conversation with the executive branch. I have never seen in my time the executive branch monitoring what legislators are doing. I respect the legislative process. I think that they bring tremendous wisdom and value, but I review their issues as they come to me.”

***
According to Georgia Tipsheet, 12th District congressional candidate Lee Anderson told supporters on Saturday that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will drop into Georgia on Oct. 15 to help him in his bid to oust Democratic incumbent John Barrow of Augusta.

Two other members of House GOP leadership, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, are also expected next month.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a claim by former secretary of state Karen Handel, made in her new book, that “Obamacare will provide coverage for abortions, despite the president’s commitment that it would not.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

84 comments Add your comment

Toredown

September 24th, 2012
9:57 am

The South’s premier rock band is The Allman Brothers Band, and its spinoff, Gov’t Mule. Skynyrd is nothing more than a pile of irrelevant oldsters trying desperately to hang on to some semblance of a legacy. Go to see them live these days and you get the same exact greatest hits show, night after night. Premier rock bands at least know how to mix up their repertoire a bit, but not these old rodeo clowns… Blech!

JF McNamara

September 24th, 2012
10:05 am

What Lynyrd Skynyrd said sounds reasonable and not controversial at all. For a large amount of the population, the Confederate flag is associated with hatre groups, because why else would you fly that flag. Only Southerners who actually had relatives fight in a war 150 years ago see it as heritage.

Going even further, if you’re one of those people and still care, you need to get a life. It was 150 years ago. Most folks don’t know who their great, great, great, great grandparents were. You’re an American. Move on. The rest of the world did 140 years ago.

the cat

September 24th, 2012
10:14 am

Romney care provided $50 abortions.

Dr. Pangloss

September 24th, 2012
10:16 am

I’ve lived in the South all my life, but I never could see what was patriotic about slavery and treason.

And, yes, the Civil War was fought over slavery. The people who did the seceding said so in no uncertain terms.

From the Mississippi Ordinance of Secession:

In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

From the Georgia Ordinance of Secession:

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.

You can see them all at http://www.civil-war.net/pages/ordinances_secession.asp

www

September 24th, 2012
10:19 am

“President Obama leads Mitt Romney among NASCAR fans, 48%-41%.”

put a fork in the election, it’s done.

Just Nasty & Mean

September 24th, 2012
10:27 am

…somebody pulled that NASCAR stat out of their tailpipe. No way…..

Darwin

September 24th, 2012
10:28 am

If a rock band needs the confederate flag to maintain a following, I’ll pass.

Candide

September 24th, 2012
11:15 am

@Dr. Pangloss…I wish this blog had a “like” button!

JB

September 24th, 2012
11:17 am

This band was a big hit in the 1970’s. They got a raw deal in a LA. swamp back in 1977. It should have ended right there. Ronnie and Steve would have wanted it that way as their music appealed to vast demographics of young folks back then, not old tattooed white drunks like you see at the shows these days. Their music would have lived on without all the hangers on over the last 35 years.

Producer

September 24th, 2012
11:18 am

Going even further, if you’re one of those people and still care, you need to get a life. It was 150 years ago. Most folks don’t know who their great, great, great, great grandparents were. You’re an American. Move on. The rest of the world did 140 years ago.

JF, does your sentiment here apply to those who still talk about slavery? Should they also ‘move on?’

Auntie Christ

September 24th, 2012
11:28 am

Rossington must be as ignorant as the klan and skinheads he claims to abhor, or naive to the point of ignorance or else just being disingenuous, if he tries to claim that flag is a symbol of Southern heritage. It is a confederate battle flag, representing, at the very least, treason and renunciation of every principle our country represents, and at the worst a symbol of the blot on our nation’s character. It is to the south what the swastika is to the Germans, an egregious symbol of a people who have abandoned all morality and sensibility. To assert that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights is a straw man invented by apologists for slavery and the treason perpetrated on this nation by a landed aristocracy that wanted to establish European plutocracy on American soil, with an economy based on human bondage.

Just imagine if, in the late 17th century, slavery had been outlawed and the southern economy had never evolved on a basis of human bondage, does anyone actuallysay with a straight face that a civil war would have ensued over states’ rights. The claim is ludicrous. The rebellion was about slavery, period. To claim otherwise is risible.

Kawasaki Kid

September 24th, 2012
11:28 am

I heard that Yankees are now lamenting the fact that they fought so hard to prevent the South from seceding from the Union. Nine of the ten states most dependent on government largess are reliably-red southern states. The states paying out more federal benefits than they get back are mostly blue northern states. Culture and peer pressure trumps logic every time.

Mike Seale

September 24th, 2012
11:41 am

To Producer: Slavery is still alive and well in America. From the slave trade in immigrants, child slavery, and outsourced American jobs. to countries that treat their labor force like slaves. The Civil War was, fundamentally, about the treatment of human beings as chattel property whose value derived from production of crops in a predominantly agrarian economy. Move forward to today’s economy, and you’ll find those who still value corporate wealth and personal financial gain more than they value treating their fellow human beings with the dignity and respect they deserve by providing fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. Slavery is still very much an issue today.

honested

September 24th, 2012
11:46 am

The reason lynrd skynrd is irrelevant is their attachment to the mythological south.

Of course they never learned that yes, the Southern Man does need Neill Young around.

Puerile Pedant

September 24th, 2012
11:46 am

honested

September 24th, 2012
11:52 am

Mike Seale,

But their god told them they are entitled to a profit, no matter the cost.

honested

September 24th, 2012
11:56 am

Will boehner, cantor, et.al be ready to explain why they have done nothing but posture and pontificate to to the minority in the last two years?

Our Less Fortunate Friends

September 24th, 2012
12:10 pm

Producer

September 24th, 2012
12:26 pm

Well, Mikey, maybe those who see the Confederate Flag as a symbol of their Southern Heritage view it as an issue today, too. Where is your liberal ‘tolerance’ for those folks?

Don't Tread

September 24th, 2012
12:31 pm

When many of your OWS “members” are wackos in the first place (which explains why they’re still living in Mom’s basement and don’t have a job they can support themselves with), there’s going to be the inevitable “wacko contamination”. Liberalism at its finest, no doubt.

PS: No one “owes” you a job, money, or anything else. You have to get it yourself.

Weetamoe

September 24th, 2012
12:46 pm

In my MA school we were taught that the war was fought to preserve the union. My husband’s MA home town, a pre-revolutionary town, includes in its many historical documents the claim that the war was fought to preserve the union. The town’s 600th year celebration was accompanied by bound histories of the town, all of which contained the information that the war was fought to preserve the union. I treasure a letter that once appeared in The New York Review of Books by Atlanta’s Lewis Regenstein with details about his own ancestor’s service and containing supporting details for his assertions that the young men who fought for the confederacy were courageous, decent, honorable men. It is said that the victors write the history, but the losers have made a compelling case of their own.

CommonSenseIsUseful

September 24th, 2012
12:48 pm

You’re delusional if you think Nascar fans are for Obama. Liberals are going to have a rude awakening on Nov. 7th when they wake up and find how strongly Obama was repudiated, remember the 2010 elections. This will be Part Deaux . . .

sheepdawg

September 24th, 2012
12:56 pm

You’re delusional if you think Nascar fans are for Obama. Liberals are going to have a rude awakening on Nov. 7th when they wake up and find how strongly Obama was repudiated, remember the 2010 elections. This will be Part Deaux . . .

dude, you are really funny

sheepdawg

September 24th, 2012
12:57 pm

you sound like noot, he was a funny little fat guy. last i heard he was moving to the moon

honested

September 24th, 2012
1:09 pm

I like NASCAR and I have never voted for a republican in my life.

honested

September 24th, 2012
1:11 pm

Weetamoe,

Lewis Regenstein knew what had to be said……in order to avoid being lynched!

While you were in MA, you must have been unaware of the iron fist exerted by the left over grey suit knuckle-draggers.

Our Less Fortunate Friends

September 24th, 2012
1:23 pm

Tolerance of all races creeds colors sexes and religions does not mean tolerance of intolerance or of Randians.

That’s one religion I think we can all agree needs to be shipped off the island…let them build their civilization on an island somewhere…the rest of us can get more work done.

CobbGOPer

September 24th, 2012
1:33 pm

@Kawasaki Kid – You should have your salt shaker firmly in hand for those figures. Many of those states listed – Georgia included – are home to large federal installations that account for a great deal of that money. In Georgia alone, we get money for: Ft. Stewart, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Benning, Dobbins AF base, Robins AFB, Centers for Disease Control, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco/Brunswick, King’s Bay Naval Base (largest sub base on the East Coast, and the only East Coast base where boomers – missle subs – dock), the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany…

Need to take things like that into consideration. Funding Ft. Benning does not qualify as ‘freeloading.’

Ooh La Lah

September 24th, 2012
1:43 pm

xxx

September 24th, 2012
1:44 pm

Weetamoe, you are correct. The war was started when the union declared war on the conferderacy to stop them from leaving the union, not the other way around. Hence, the “war of northern aggression” name. They would have been fine with walking away without bloodshed. Revisionist like the good Dr tend to gloss over those things that don’t support their narrow views. Salvery was definite a factor in the decision to secede, but not the sole factor. Several edicts fromt he feds had the states unhappy with them for dictating what they pereived to be state decisions. The slavery question was simply the one that lit the fuse on the powder keg. I’m not advocating for the confederacy, but to paint a complex issue as simply war over slavery is not accurate.

JF McNamara

September 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

@Producer,

Yes. If you’re mad that your family was slaves 150 years ago, then you need serious help. The problem with the analogy, however, is that African Americans were oppressed up until 1970. There are still many people who actually went to segregated schools and got treated poorly living today. Both my parent and grandparents lived through those things.

Secondly, African Americans aren’t carrying around a flag to remember slaves. Are they?

Wondering

September 24th, 2012
1:59 pm

No one’s commenting on China and their stealing of American intellectual property and jobs. The Department of Homeland Security reports that the Chinese Army has two brigades of full time hackers stealing the U.S. blind and no one seems to care. The flag is a red herring. Focus on the economy.

Producer

September 24th, 2012
2:13 pm

The vast majority of those who carry the Confederate flag do so to remember Southern honor and bravery, not to commemorate slavery. Do you also want to remove all of the Confederate soldier statues that dot small town quads all throughout the South? And if the blacks were oppressed until 1970, by your own admission, isn’t 42 years a bit long to carry a chip on their shoulders and attribute the societal failures of some to a process that ended four decades ago?

honested

September 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

producer,

Ok, what about the plantation worshipers who took over State Government in 2003 and promptly wrecked things?
You may remember, one of the reasons they came to power was over the stupid flag.

Producer

September 24th, 2012
2:42 pm

The politicians who disrespected those who honor that flag got themselves voted out or not voted in. They pretty much underestimated the reactions of those folks. In politics one better know their electorate if they wanna get elected. No one in today’s world, at least in this state, wants to enslave anyone. The only one who’s even talked about it, even in jest, was that mental giant, Joe Biden. God, what an idiot that man is.

Skip

September 24th, 2012
2:51 pm

Celebrating a war when you got your butt handed to you never made any sense to me.

Producer

September 24th, 2012
3:09 pm

Honested, it was the politically correct politicians with their PC attitudes that lead to the election results you cited in 2002. From trying to change the Georgia Flag to not letting the UGA band play the traditional UGA fight song at football games, and this one is real mind blower and I don’t know if you’ll even remember it, Six Flags closing the Okeefenokee Swamp ride many years ago because it had characters from Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus! Give me a break! Are Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear really out to hurt people? People get fed up with PC rot and they will take it out on those politicians who advocate it.

Bernie

September 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

You gotta Love how Mayor Reed is so willing to CALL OUT Mitt. However Mayor Reed has yet to CALL OUT Governor Deal on the denial of the ACA Medicaid Expansion in Georgia. This to is a important issue to Thousands of uninsured Atlanta residents. The City of Atlanta represents the largest concentration of uninsured VOTERS in the STATE. If Mitt is a Bad Nascar driver, then what is Governor Deal, we should ask of the illustrious Mayor.

honested

September 24th, 2012
3:31 pm

producer (of something I guess),

You have an odd memory of history, one that seems intent on attaching significance to irrelevant symbols.
Do you turn over rocks every day to find something that doesn’t hold the (thank goodness it’s gone) ‘old south’ in reverence?
How long do you dixiecrats want to hold our state at the bottom rung of the ladder?

honested

September 24th, 2012
3:33 pm

Bernie,

Unfortunately, I don’t think Mayor Reed has gotten the fat check he was counting on from the Governor for his pointless support of destroying the Savannah River.
Follow the money.

Rafe Hollister

September 24th, 2012
3:38 pm

We are all slaves to an out of control, too powerful, Tenth Amendment violating, and almost insolvent Federal government. That is the war we should be fighting, instead of continuing with the War Between the States that was settled over 150 years ago.

cc

September 24th, 2012
3:49 pm

“You may remember, one of the reasons they came to power was over the stupid flag.”

IF that was even a factor, it was a very minor one. Barnes lied and people didn’t forget, but that wasn’t a major consideration in his loss. The 2012 election was much more of a referendum on Obama, Pelosi and Reed’s steamrolling the American people with ObamaCare, among other things. The mood of the Georgia electorate was decidedly anti-dimocrat dominance in Washington, as it will be in the 2012 elections.

Get used to it . . . or move.

Bernie

September 24th, 2012
3:54 pm

honested @ 3:33 pm – I am inclined to think something is up. Mayor Reed is being such a Hypocrite by going on National Television pretending to support President Obama, while unwilling to speak out “FULL THROATED” and without hesitation on Governor Deals denial of the Medicaid Expansion.

Many of the the Mayor’s base, who are also VOTERS are now uninsured and out of work in numbers never seen before.. One would think being that we have such a vocal Mayor, He would be just as outspoken here in Atlanta and on behalf of the Millions of Atlanta’s voters.

Mayor Reed’s SILENCE is SELFISH & SELF SERVING!

Bernie

September 24th, 2012
3:59 pm

LOSERS of WARS do not get to RAISE their FLAGS with the WINNERS. period!

Send the Confederate FLAG to the MUSEUM. A place where it should honored and on holidays celebrating it. FOLD IT UP and put it away with the other CIVIL WAR artifacts.

Stars and Bars Forever

September 24th, 2012
3:59 pm

Some of us had relatives that fought and died for the South in 1861-1865. We’ll never forget. That, and all the annoying yankee carpetbaggers that moved down here will continue to stir nostalgia for times gone by…

cc

September 24th, 2012
4:01 pm

Bernie:

The following just had to be written for you!

“The bold truth is that moving ahead at this stage, with the incomplete information presently available, is wildly irresponsible, entirely indefensible, and akin to handing the federal government a blank check to our state treasury.”

“There is nothing to be gained for our state (or any state) by doing for the Obama administration that which it cannot do itself. The arrogance that precipitated the ham-handed mandates of the ACA and the deafness of the administration to our complaints have come full circle. As the Reverend Jeremiah Wright might say, “Obama’s chickens have come home to roost.”
No state exchange, no ObamaCare. Some things are just that simple.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/the_achilles_heel_of_obamacare.html#ixzz27Q2eKrEV

Skip

September 24th, 2012
4:09 pm

The richest most powerful nation in history can’t even provide health care for its citizens. Pathetic.

cc

September 24th, 2012
4:27 pm

“The richest most powerful nation in history can’t even provide health care for its citizens”

You labor under the false assumption that it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the nation to provide health care for its citizens. It is NOT the nation’s responsibility, but the responsibility of the individual. ObamaCare was NEVER about health care; it was and is about the power to control the people.

“Richest and most powerful” is “history”, and becoming increasingly more so with each passing day of the Obama regime.

Baron DeKalb

September 24th, 2012
4:29 pm

cc: “ObamaCare was NEVER about health care; it was and is about the power to control the people.”

Yes, CC, that’s why totalitarian societies ALWAYS have the best health care

Baron DeKalb

September 24th, 2012
4:33 pm

“It is NOT the nation’s responsibility, but the responsibility of the individual”

The same could be said for road building, schools, garbage pickup, policing, etc. And just like these services which almost everyone in our society requires, health care makes a lot more sense when it is planned in a centralized fashion, rather than left up to “the individual.”