Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson has apologized for remarks he made in an interview with the Asbury Park Press that were perceived as critical of the American flag.
“I expressed my concerns regarding the ‘flag-waving’ mind-set — not only of some Americans — but across the world,” wrote Anderson in a Web post. “I now regret the tone of these statements and offered my belated apologies to those offended by an perceived slur on the Stars and Stripes. I really didn’t understand — even after thirty-five years of visiting the USA on a regular basis — that this symbol had such fierce resonance for so many people as is now apparent to me . . . Anyway, I was out of line of the flag thing and I am sorry for it. I know I have forever lost some American friends as a result.”
Anderson initially told the newspaper, “I hate to see the American flag hanging out of every bloody station wagon, out of every SUV, every little Midwestern house in some residential area. It’s easy to confuse patriotism with nationalism.”
The remarks touched off a furor that prompted WCHR — a classic rock radio station in New Jersey — to remove Jethro Tull from its playlist. In light of Anderson’s apology, WCHR is now allowing listeners to vote on whether or not to restore Jethro Tull.