During an interview with Rolling Stone about the upcoming “A Vulgar Display Of Pantera” photo book, former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown were asked to comment on a photo of the band’s stage display from the 2001 “Reinventing The Steel” tour that relied heavily on Confederate flag imagery.
Said Anselmo: “If we’re really going to get into commentary here, yes, I see the projected Confederate flags. Well, for one, I’ve always said, ‘Flags don’t mean a damn thing to me.’ Two, by using the Confederate flag, despite what anyone says — and I don’t give a shit, because no matter what I say, I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t — but the truth of it all is, it was about as innocent as innocent could be. We weren’t confessing to any clandestine power of structure or however you assholes wanna put it these days. I think we used the Confederate flag merely because of LYNYRD SKYNYRD. We had learned from people before us. And it was never about anything other than that.”
Added Brown: “The Confederate flag is on the back cover of [1996’s] ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’. That was the ‘Southern’ part of it. There were still states that had that on their state flags. Nowadays it’s forbidden to use it. It’s not so politically correct. But it had nothing to do with racism. None of us were like that. It was just a tie-in to the artwork on the back cover. Even back then, I said, ‘This is not the way to go.’ LYNYRD SKYNYRD used one for years and still do. Now people confuse it with racism and hatred. That’s not what this band is about at all; quite the opposite. But it’s the only thing I would say in the P.C. days that I have any regrets about.”