Rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd has been in the news recently regarding their use of the Confederate flag. Good ole' boys from the South, the rebel flag has been a part of the Skynyrd stage for years. Last week the group told CNN they would not use the flag any more because “it became such an issue about race.”
Just a few days later, due to fan backlash, they flip flopped and have embraced the flag again. Guitarist Gary Rossington wrote, We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost. We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans. I only stated my opinion that the confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate…
All this flag talk, plus Tuesday's post with a Todd Hundley card, got me thinking about Todd's dad Randy. A native of Martinsville, Virginia, Hundley's nickname was "Rebel." And in honor of his nickname, when he would hit a homer at Wrigley, the Bleacher Bums would wave the stars and bars.
This picture was snagged from an ebay auction. It was taken by a Chicago Sun-Times photographer in July, 1969. The bleachers are packed and the rebel flag is flying. You can also see several hardhats in the picture; that was the official headgear of the Bleacher Bums. Also check out the two Andy Frain ushers standing in the doorway to the Cubs clubhouse.
I saw that flag wave in the bleachers many times on TV over several years and never thought anything other than "Randy Hundley from Virginia." Of course I was a sheltered suburban kid, so what did I know.
This article, from the August 21, 1969 issue of Jet Magazine has a differing opinion. Fast forward to 2012 and the debate continues. Heritage?? Hate?? Home Runs??