Phil Anselmo Warns The Pantera Fan Over Controversial Flag

Philip Anselmo publicly disavowed the Confederate flag during a concert in Bulgaria on May 26. He noticed a fan in the audience holding a sign with Confederate flag imagery. The band Pantera had previously used this symbol in stage production and merchandise designs, such as the Hesher Dream shirt, which was available on the band’s website in 2015.

Right before the closing song at Sofia, Phil reached out to the crowd:

“Sofia, I gotta say this: incredible audience. One more thing: there’s a person over here holding up this sign trying to ruin the f*ckin show. I disavow, I disavow the f*ckin’ flag. I’m sorry. It’s ridiculous, man. Keep politics out of shit. It’s boring.” 

It’s clear that the Pantera frontman isn’t happy about politics intruding on his music. This isn’t the first time the Confederate flag has caused issues for the band.

Back in 2016, Anselmo and bandmate Rex Brown had to confront a Pantera stage display from their 2001 Reinventing the Steel tour during an interview with Rolling Stone. Once again, the Confederate flag imagery came into question. Philip stated:

“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.”

The band claims their use of the flag was to pay homage to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Brown explained their past perspective on the flag and continued:

“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.”

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