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Kid Rock Hasn’t Flown Confederate Flag in Years, Says Rep

Scott Legato, Getty Images

A representative for Kid Rock has addressed the Confederate flag controversy surrounding the artist, less than a week after Rock issued a tersely worded statement to Fox. “It’s been more than five years since he’s had that flag on tour,” publicist Nick Stern told the Detroit Free Press.

Some of the confusion in this matter stems from Rock himself. The Michigan native responded to questions about his use of the controversial flag with a statement read on-air by Fox’s Megyn Kelly. “Please tell the people protesting to kiss my … ask me some questions,” he said.

Stern notes that Rock hadn’t used the flag as part of his concerts for “more than a year” before he received a Great Expectations Award from Detroit’s chapter of the NAACP in May 2011. But as you can see in the photo above, Kid Rock performed in front of the Confederate emblem during the opening date of his Born Free tour at Detroit’s Ford Field four months earlier, on Jan. 15. (There’s also fan-shot video from that show available, which clearly shows the flag.)

Nevertheless, civil rights figures in Detroit have staged anti-flag rallies aimed at both Rock and tour sponsor Chevrolet since July 6 of this year. “They’re protesting something he’s not even doing,” Stern said. The NAACP honor, Stern added, was a key turning point. “That was the impetus,” he said. “Since then, he’s never flown it again.”

The Free Press referenced a 2002 interview in which Rock — who’s currently on tour with Foreigner — defended use of the imagery, linking it with both Southern rock and rebels everywhere. At the 2011 event where he was honored by the Detroit NAACP, Rock said he “never flew the flag with hate in my heart. … I love America, I love Detroit and I love black people.”

Demonstrations – led in part by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – have continued at the Detroit Historial Museum, which is sponsoring an exhibit dedicated to Rock. “It was our understanding that Kid Rock had used the flag, is using the flag and has tried to defend that flag,” the group’s Rev. Charles Williams II told the Free Press on Wednesday.

Coverage of a June 17 massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., and its aftermath has included mentions of the protests. “My biggest frustration is that they are using Kid Rock’s name and Chevy’s name to get attention for themselves based on something he wasn’t even doing — and that they didn’t even know that,” said Stern.

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