Trace Adkins stirred up a bit of controversy Wednesday night during his performance of “The Christmas Song” on NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree-lighting special. All because his in-ear monitor was emblazoned with the Confederate flag. Many associate the “stars and bars,” as the flag of the Confederacy is often known, with slavery and oppression. Trace released a statement on his website saying that was not his intent. “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 wrote. “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.” Trace is currently on a USO tour of Japan, performing for U.S. service members.