(CNN) — Luke Combs has issued an apology for past use of the Confederate flag in his performances.
Followers on social media pointed out that when the country star appeared in the music video for Ryan Upchurch’s “Can I Get a Outlaw” in 2015, he was in front of a Confederate flag. He was also using an acoustic guitar that had a Confederate flag sticker on it.
“As I’ve grown in my time as an artist, and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware how painful that image can be,” Combs said Wednesday. “I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”
His remarks were made during a conversation with singer Maren Morris and moderator Ann Powers on “accountability and the future of country music” for the annual Country Radio Seminar. The three also discussed country-music star Morgan Wallen’s use of a racial slur.
During the talk, Combs said that hoped “to learn” and “get better” in the future.
“I know that I’m a very highly visible member of the country-music community right now,” Combs said. “And I want to use that position for good, and to say that people can change and people do want to change, and I’m one of those people trying.”
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