Singer Trace Adkins has defended his decision to wear ear monitors emblazoned with the Confederate flag at the televised Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in New York on Wednesday (28Nov12), insisting he didn't mean to offend anyone.
Tv viewers took to Twitter.com and many blogs to criticise the country star's choice of ear-piece design - because the historical stars and bars flag of the Confederate Army is linked to slavery and oppression in America's southern states.
Adkins, who sang The Christmas Song at the annual tree-lighting, took to his website on Thursday (29Nov12) in an effort to explain himself.
He wrote, "As a proud American, I object to oppression of any kind. To me, the battle flag represents remembrance of my Southern lineage. I am a descendant of Confederate soldiers who followed that flag into battle.
"I advocate for the preservation of America's battlefields and honest conversation about our country's history. To those who view the flag as a symbol of racism, that was not my message and I did not intend offense."
Adkins jetted out of New York soon after his festive performance and he is currently entertaining U.S. troops in Japan as part of a United Service Organizations (Uso) tour.