Now here’s a voice of reason!
Music legend Tom Petty regrets using the Confederate flag at concerts and performances in his past, apologizing for doing so in a new and very honest article, out today.
With the Confederate flag coming down in South Carolina, it’s a hot topic of conversation around the country, and the public — and celebrities — have been weighing in on it all week.
Petty writes in Rolling Stone about his concern over the meaning behind the flag:
“The Confederate flag was the wallpaper of the South when I was a kid growing up in Gainesville, Florida. I always knew it had to do with the Civil War, but the South had adopted it as its logo. I was pretty ignorant of what it actually meant. It was on a flagpole in front of the courthouse and I often saw it in Western movies. I just honestly didn’t give it much thought, though I should have.”
Petty copped to using the flag in his work, though he realized very quickly why it was such a problem:
“I used it onstage during [Rebels], and I regretted it pretty quickly. When we toured two years later, I noticed people in the audience wearing Confederate flag bandanas and things like that. One night, someone threw one onstage. I stopped everything and gave a speech about it. I said, ‘Look, this was to illustrate a character. This is not who we are. Having gone through this, I would prefer it if no one would ever bring a Confederate flag to our shows again because this isn’t who we are.'”
Then, Petty dropped some knowledge about how ridiculous the flag itself is in 2015, considering the Civil War ended 150 years ago:
“Lowering the flag from the statehouse grounds was the right decision. That flag shouldn’t have any part in our government. It shouldn’t represent us in any way. The war is over. You know, it’s a bit ironic: It’s the only time that I know of where we defeated a country in a war and then flew their flag.”
Finally, Petty had to call out Kid Rock, who has chosen to remain defiant and keep using the Confederate Flag at concerts, even though he’s not exactly a southerner.
“Isn’t Kid Rock from the Midwest? I think they were on the other side of the Civil War.”
Tom Petty: 1, Bob Ritchie: 0.
Kid Rock aside, it’s awesome to see that Petty copped to using the flag in the past and strongly denounced it as a mistake.
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]