Blythe calls for Confederate flag 'common sense'

Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe says the Confederate flag should be removed from all US government buildings – but he defends the rights of individuals to display it.

The American civil war-era flag was adopted by the Army of Northern Virginia and has links to racist groups. It has been at the centre of intense debate in America recently, with South Carolina’s statehouse removing it from its grounds last week.

Blythe tells the Metal Injection Livecast: “I don’t believe in censorship in America. I believe that anyone should be able to fly the swastika. I think it’s fucking despicable. I’m obviously anti-racist, anti-fascist. But you have that right. Whoever, they have the right to display that flag.

“We all have that right here in America. This is relatively free society. And the minute we start clamping down just because we don’t like something like that, if it’s not directly hurting someone else, that opens all sorts of doors.”

The singer does differentiate between personal rights and the flag’s use on taxpayer-funded government sites.

He adds: “I think the flag definitely should be taken down from the government buildings. I think it’s really good that that flag is down, and I think if some people are gonna wave it and all this other stuff, they need to realise what it symbolises to other people.

“I think it’s simple-minded to equate it with a Nazi flag. I think it’s simple-minded because, in fact, a lot of people in the South do look at it as a symbol of their heritage. I have relatives buried in graveyards who were Confederate soldiers, and the local Daughters Of The Confederacy will put little Confederate flags out.

“I live in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. They don’t equate it with hate. But publicly displaying it and all that stuff, it’s offensive to people. Just use some fucking common sense.”

The Lamb Of God singer is the latest rocker to speak out on the issue, following comments by Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and Tom Petty.