As the debates over the Confederate Flag continue, one Southern rocker is voicing his opinion on the matter. Leave it to the warm-hearted Warren Haynes to cut to the core of the issue.

Speaking to, Haynes said “When I look back and think that there were a lot of bands flying the flag in the old days, I guess we were just much more naive at that point, and didn’t realize how it is interpreted by the people who are offended. And that’s really what it’s all about. I’m a Southerner, I can’t tell you how long I’ve thought it was offensive.”

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He continued, saying “We used to tour a lot in Europe, and when we played there, there’d be people flying rebel flags, and they’d be doing it to honor the music. But that’s not what it’s about.” Then Haynes talked about his experiences in Germany, “I just spent a month in Europe, and in Germany people were asking about this… [That type of symbolism] is a more magnified issue there, as you can imagine.”

“But you don’t choose your family; you rise above… And that’s what it’s all about: healing, rising above and learning from the past, not making the same mistakes twice. I’m really proud of what’s happening right now, like in Alabama, getting rid of the flag. One by one, the states are all starting to step up.”

Haynes even offered a brief history lesson, pointing out that the flag only resurfaced as a symbol in the late 1950’s out of protest against the Civil Rights movement. From that perspective, it’s easy to understand why the flag shouldn’t be associated with government, music, or really anything.

Haynes summed it up perfectly, saying, “You don’t need a symbol to be proud of who you are.”

[Source / Photo by Chris Pow]