Ryan Upchurch is continuing to attempt to defend his use of the Confederate flag in an old music video after Luke Combs apologized for his use of the imagery, including in said video, sharing a clip from the project with fans on Instagram over the weekend. The video in question was Upchurch's "Can I Get a Outlaw," which is from 2015.
"Holler Boy for life," he captioned the clip along with the "rock on" hand sign emoji and the American flag emoji. This was posted shortly after Upchurch's "apology video," which was shared to YouTube and featured the singer not apologizing instead of criticizing Combs and other country artists. "You thought this was an apology video; that’s cute," he began.
“I’m not trying to toot my own horn or be that egotistical a—hole, but am I the only country singer out here right now that’s getting Billboard charting spots that just says what I want to?" he said. "That doesn’t apologize for everything and try to be something I’m not and have a bunch of team members type up this s— and be like 'Oh, you have to say this please because we got to make sure they know you’re not racist.'"
He added that he is friends with "quite a few country singers" and that "a lot of them have to stay silent." "None of this was problematic until there was a problem," he said. "I’ve been preaching unity since day one and I’m a guy who has the Confederate flag tattooed on me for life. There didn’t have to be a video of another country singer saying the n-word for me to preach unity between blacks and whites."
Combs discussed his past use of the Confederate flag in a conversation with Maren Morris and moderator Ann Powers during the annual Country Radio Seminar last week, stating that "there is no excuse" for his actions.
"Y’all really think he comes out and said this by himself?" Upchurch said, claiming that several singers were told to speak out in the wake of Morgan Wallen's controversy. "You don’t think his record label daddy told him to do this? You have to, Morgan Wallen just did that thing so you have to. You think he waited 6 years of not saying nothing, not preaching nothing about unity but now he does and you don’t think somebody told him to? Okay."