Monday, September 24, 2012

Commander Givens' Comments on Lynyrd Skynyrds Capitulation to Disassociation with the Confederate Flag.

Dear Gary, Lynyrd Skynyrd, management, `et alia',

I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We are an organization, chartered in 1896 by veterans of the War for Southern Independence for the purpose of promoting the true history and principles of the Confederate soldiers’ cause. On behalf of our 31,000 members I write you today to express our deep sadness and concern over your present stance toward our venerable banner of the South. Your use of the flag in a manner that is up lifting and not aligned with any form of hate has been a stalwart defense of the flag’s true symbolism for many years. We appreciate and applaud your past efforts on behalf of our common ancestors.

Our biggest concern comes from your statement on the 8th of September 2012 to CNN. You disclosed, "But I think through the years, you know, people like the KKK and Skinheads and people have kind of kidnapped the dixie rebel flag from the southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers." Sir, our ancestors wrote the definition of that flag with their blood and when they furled the flag at the last battle they tucked their God-given liberty inside. The KKK and the Skinheads do not define our flag any more than the NAACP or any other hate group.

I am sure you do not agree with their hateful views of our flag, therefore I must ask you, who will stand up for the TRUTH, if not you and if not me? The answer is no one and without us the truth will be buried with the American Confederate flag. That is why we must not capitulate to their nancy demands.

Like many men in my organization, your music has been the soundtrack of my life. Your songs have helped define my own identity and Southernness. I have been a fan from the beginning. I was at the second to the last concert of the original band in Johnson City, Tennessee. All my best friends were at the Greenville, South Carolina concert a few days later. Then, our lives were changed forever—some much more than others. We have always been there for you. Your fans have not let you down. Do not let us down.

My fear is that you are living the song, WORKING FOR THE MCA and that Lynyrd Skynyrd has become the subject of a re-branding effort that hopes to make a kinder, gentler Lynyrd Skynyrd. I worked in the ad world for twenty years; re-branding’s not what we need. We need the honest and courageous Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Stay true to your people.

Please fell free to contact me if I may help. I wish you the very best and remain,

Respectfully yours,

Michael Givens
Sons of Confederate Veterans

TOOLBOX // 09.22.2012 11:03:39 AM

I've known Skynyrd , the past and present members for over 27 years. Gary,Dale, Rickey, and Johnny are very close friends of mine. I consider them family. I know of their love for God,our troops, Southern heritage and for our great nation. I've held Gary and Dale's daughters in my arms as babies and watched them grow up into beautiful ladies and moms. I've been there for the band thru the good times and the bad. I've been around the world with them. I've sat at their dinner table and broke bread with them. I know how hard it was for them to make that decision on the confederate flag. Because of a few bad people and groups in this country a lot of us have to suffer. The band is not denouncing the flag, they're denouncing the scum that uses it as a symbol of hate and control thru fear. Lynyrd Skynyrd is a true American band and are proud of their Southern heritage. Do you think for one minute that they would denounce their Southern roots?? Your wrong. Just listen to their music. It's all about the South, family,country, the good and bad times and fish'n. Most of us have grown up with Skynyrd music in our homes, cars, schools and bars. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the few things that has held true in this world. I ask you to be there for them as they've been there for you thru thick and thin for over 30 years! For the people that wish harm or death to Gary, may God have mercy on you .You'll have to go thru me first!!! I stand with Skynyrd!!! TOOLBOX

MicGivens // 09.22.2012 11:27:03 AM

@TOOLBOX: Sir, I have nothing but respect for you and understand your stance. Our problem is not that Lynyrd Skynyrd, with their recent statement, is denouncing the hateful rhetoric of those that misuse the flag, as we join them in that, but their capitulation to the demands of those who want Southern Heritage buried.

It is a wonderful thing that you know the band personally and can vouch for their devotion to God and Country. I do not doubt a word. Let's be clear, Lynyrd Skynyrd giving up the flag to the "kidnappers" is capitulation and marks a sad day for the ongoing defense of a culture constantly under attack. I thank Lynyrd Skynyrd for all they have done in the past and wish them peace and happiness.

God bless.

TOOLBOX // 09.22.2012 11:55:37 AM

@MicGivens: Sir, Thank You for understanding my stance but, I have to ask you a simple question. You say that you thank them for all they've done in the past but, are you there for them now and in the future? TOOLBOX

MicGivens // 09.22.2012 01:21:46 PM

@TOOLBOX: Hi Toolbox. I am deeply saddened by this turn of direction. I love the music, always have and always will. But this is a blow. Tuesday's Gone is one of the best songs every written/recorded. The same can be said of so many songs by these incredibly talented men. But I know the truth of the Confederate Soldier, I've studied him and his cause for a very long time. Lynyrd Skynyrd was always a sort of support for the truth of the CSA merely by presenting our colours respectfully. Now, I will continue to listen to my favorite music but with a different and lesser respect. This pains me to no end. Contact me. I'd be pleased to discuss this further.