“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,