Chevrolet Under Fire for Kid Rock’s Confederate Flag Usage
It’s hard to get much farther from the South than Detroit, Michigan, a city that’s literally north of Canada. And yet, two of the Motor City’s most famous ambassadors—Kid Rock and Chevrolet—have recently found themselves embroiled in the growing controversy over the use of the Confederate flag.
In an opinion piece for the Oakland Press, Ken Hreha criticizes Kid Rock for using the stars and bars in his concerts. He also calls out Rock for posting a photo of himself posing with gifts he received from fans during his most recent “Chillin’ the Most” cruise, which includes a gigantic Confederate flag flask (pictured above). Hreha writes that Rock left the offending image posted on his website after the tragic shooting in Charleston, until removing it on June 25th—although at the time of writing (Tuesday, June 30th), the photo is back on his site.
What does any of this have to do with Chevy? Well, the bowtie brand is sponsoring Mr. Rock’s upcoming Cheap Date summer concert tour, and Rock credits their support for helping “keep the $20 ticket alive for y’all!”
Hreha questions why Chevrolet is continuing to sponsor Kid Rock’s tour, perhaps in the hopes that some sort of corporate boycott will persuade Chevy to persuade Kid to cut the flag from his act.
For what it’s worth, this is not the first time that Kid Rock has come under fire for his embrace of the rebel flag. It was a point of contention for some back in 2011, when he received a lifetime achievement award from the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (no, seriously—Kid Rock has a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP).
In 2008, Kid Rock defended himself by saying that to him, “it just represents pride in southern rock’n’roll, plus it just looks cool.”
It will be interesting to see how Chevy responds to this whole thing, but we think that the onus to do right is on Kid, here. It shouldn’t be too hard for him to weigh the pros and cons of “represents bigotry, oppression, and violent terrorism to many” versus “just looks cool to me.” And if actual Southerners like Chevy NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. can recognize the toxicity of the Confederate flag, then surely a guy from Michigan who made a name for himself by recording hip hop music for white people can gain some much-needed perspective on the issue.