Country star Luke Combs apologizes for past use of Confederate flag imagery: 'There's no excuse'

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Country singer Luke Combs has apologized for his past use of the Confederate flag.

Combs, 30, on Wednesday addressed resurfaced photos showing him with Confederacy imagery during a panel conversation about accountability in country music. Also in attendance was singer Maren Morris.

“There’s no excuse for those images,” the singer told panel moderator Ann Powers of NPR.

The photos included screenshots from a past music video Combs appeared in with artist Ryan Upchurch. According to People, the singer was seen “amid an array of Confederate battle flags, including one on a decal stuck to his guitar.”


Country artist Luke Combs says he wants to use his public platform ‘for good’ after addressing his past use of the Confederate flag.

Combs voiced his regret over the photos, which were reportedly from seven to eight years ago. The North Carolina native explained the flag is “an image that I associated to mean something else.”

“Hate is not a part of my core values, and it’s not something that I consider a part of myself at all…I’m here to say, ‘I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to get better,'” Combs said via the outlet.

The award-winning artist also said he wants to use his position in the public eye “for good” and shared he’s “one of those people trying” to change.

“And 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,” he added. “I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”

Combs’ words come weeks after country crooner Morgan Wallen, 27, was suspended from his record label and pulled from the airwaves after a video surfaced showing him using the N-word.

Maren Morris was one of several people who denounced Morgan Wallen’s latest controversy online.
(ABC via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Morris, who publicly denounced Wallen’s latest controversy, said she too didn’t fully understand the history of the Confederate flag when she was younger. She said she viewed it as “Southern pride” until her teenage years.

“It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word,” the “Girl” singer, 30, previously tweeted about Wallen. “We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”

Wallen has since issued an apology which Morris addressed on Wednesday.

“I appreciate Morgan saying ‘quit defending me’ to his fans, because it’s indefensible. He knows that. We know that,” the “Bones” singer said. “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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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