County star Trace Adkins caused a mini-storm by appearing on national television wearing an earpiece decorated like the Confederate flag on Wednesday (November 28, 2012). Adkins was performing at the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting when Twitter users noticed the earpiece.

The flag is a subject of intense controversy of the United States, with supporters viewing it as a symbol of southern heritage, though critics associating it with racism and southern sovereignty. After receiving a wave of criticism on Twitter, the 50-year-old conservative singer issued a statement on his official website. "As a proud American I object to oppression of any kind. To me, the battle flag represents remembrance of my Southern lineage - I am a descendant of Confederate soldiers who followed that flag into battle," he explained. The Louisiana-born singer added, "I advocate for the preservation of America's battlefields and honest conversation about our Country's history. To those who view the flag as a symbol of racism, that was not my message and I did not intend offense."

Adkins has sold more than seven million albums whilst appearing in numerous movies, including 2007's The Lincoln Lawyer. He recently released his cleverly titled album 10 Great Songs.