Why Are These Bands Still Selling Confederate Flag Merch?
This month, America finally came to terms with the fact that proudly flying a pro-slavery flag more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation might not be the most enlightened idea.
Early this morning, South Carolina passed a bill that would make the flag as legal on government grounds as a fistful of methamphetamines in a Klan hood. Walmart, Amazon, Target, Sears, eBay and Etsy have all vowed to remove what former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson dubbed “America’s swastika.”
Though that may be changing soon, the flag has long been a matter of “Southern pride” for musicians — Lynryd Skynyrd and Kid Rock have performed in front of it, Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell and Ozzy’s Zakk Wylde have played guitars sporting the Dixie symbol and country musicians from Hank Williams Jr. to Blake Shelton have shouted out the “rebel flag” in their lyrics.
But when a CNN poll shows that 72 percent of black Americans see it as a racist symbol, why are white musicians still profiting off the stars and bars? The winds of change have swept swiftly through both government and big business, but some musicians still haven’t taken Confederate flag merchandise down from their official stores.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, pioneers in Southern flag-waving to the point where Neil Young had to tell them to STFU, have assuredly backed down somewhat from their Confederate imagery — we saw a single Confederate item on their site in June, but now it seems like the only flag they’re toting is the stars and stripes. Kanye West tried to subvert the flag in some recent tour merch, telling AMP Radio, “You know, the Confederate flag represented slavery. . . .So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now! Now what are you gonna do?” Some artists haven’t gotten the message.
Defunct Texas chest-beaters Pantera still sell the ridiculous “Hesher Dream T-Shirt,” which combines flag imagery with a nude blonde woman and a potleaf.
Schticky Southern-rock revivalists Nashville Pussy still invite you to “Show Your Southern Pride” with the “Rebel Wings” shirt, currently on sale in their “Rare Shit Store”
Platinum bro-country icon Brantley Gilbert currently offers a non-specific “flag design”
Have you seen more flags still for sale? We will update this page as the year unfolds.