Ted Nugent says confederate flag shirt didn't bother Gov. Perry
(1/23/07 - AUSTIN, TX) -- Rocker Ted Nugent says Gov. Rick Perry had no problem with his decision to wear a Confederate flag shirt during his appearance at last week's inaugural ball and even complimented his performance, several newspapers reported Tuesday.
Nugent said Perry talked to him backstage after the black-tie event, complimenting him on "the greatest rock 'n' roll" and thanking him for coming. The governor also called over the weekend, ending the conversation by telling Nugent to "give 'em hell," Nugent said.
Perry spokesman Robert Black said the governor wouldn't personally wear such a shirt but told the singer he has the right to wear whatever he wants.
"If you're going to defend freedom of expression, then you're going to have to defend all freedom of expression," Black said.
When asked if Perry would have invited Nugent if he had known what he would wear, Black said: "Yes."
The black-tie ball was just hours after Perry was sworn into office and spoke of bipartisanship, compassion for the poor and racial and class unity.
The president of the Texas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People criticized Nugent's decision to wear the shirt, saying it symbolizes "the enslavement of African-Americans and more recently the symbol of hate groups and terrorists."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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