Country star Luke Combs apologizes for appearing with Confederate flags
Country music star Luke Combs apologized this week for previously appearing with Confederate flags, saying that he is “now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else.”
Combs was asked about performing in front of the flag by NPR music critic Ann Powers as part of a virtual panel on accountability in country music during the annual Country Radio Seminar conference.
He appeared in front of the Confederate flag in a 2015 music video, according to the Tennessean. His acoustic guitar at the time also included a sticker that depicted the flag.
“There’s no excuse for those images,” Combs said, according to multiple reports.
“As I have grown in my time as an artist and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else,” Combs said. “I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”
He added that he wanted to address the images now to show that a country star can have conversations about past mistakes, according to the reports.
“I am trying to learn. I am trying to get better,” Combs said.
Combs was joined on Wednesday by fellow country singer Maren Morris during the panel discussion.
Morris shared that she believed the Confederate flag symbolized “Southern pride” until she was a teenager. She also called on country artists to demand that Confederate flags be removed from music festivals and concerts.
Morris has been a vocal critic of country star Morgan Wallen, who apologized last week after being seen using a racial slur against Black people earlier this month. Wallen said he has accepted invitations from Black organizations and leaders to “engage in some very real and honest conversations.”
Morris on Wednesday during the panel discussion called Wallen’s actions “indefensible,” saying that “All we can do, so there isn’t an elephant in the room, is say that out loud, hold our peers accountable. I don’t care if it is awkward sitting down the row from you at the next awards show.”