Trace Adkins upset some viewers during his performance of 'We Three Kings' and 'The Christmas Song' at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting Wednesday night, which was broadcast nationwide on NBC. The actual performance was stirring and elegant, however, Adkins' Confederate flag earpiece is what people have been talking about since.

Adkins responded to the blowback on his website on Friday morning:

“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.
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.”

E! News points out that Adkins shared that he is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in his 2007 autobiography 'A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck.' He writes that his interest has always been historical, as opposed to some desire for the south to rise again.

"I think the large majority of members are people who don't want history to forget the brave and gallant men who fought for the Confederacy," he writes. "They're our ancestors. Yet we as Americans have tried to erase them from our history books."

Adkins has also joined efforts to preserve Civil War battlefields.

The 'Just Fishin'' singer has been in New York City filming the new season of 'Celebrity Apprentice' for NBC. Earlier this week, he tweeted a picture of himself with C-130 crew at the Yokota Force Base in Japan.

Watch Trace Adkins Perform 'We Three Kings' on NBC

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