UPDATE: In response to the controversy, Adkins posted a statement to his website saying he certainly didn't mean to offend.
"As a proud American I object to oppression of any kind," he wrote from Japan. "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."
Country singer Trace Adkins wore a Confederate flag earpiece last night when he performed during the nationally televised Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.
The Stars and Bars symbol was clearly visibly as the conservative crooner sang "The Christmas Song" (more commonly known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire").
Unsurprisingly, the political statement set Twitter afire with protests from viewers who found the statement highly offensive.
This isn't the first time Trace has expressed his political views in public. The stark conservative famously performed his song "Tough People Do" at the Republican National Convention, which became something of a GOP anthem.
The 50-year-old star is also a self-proclaimed member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which he details in his autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck.
So, er, peace on Earth and all that.
Watch the video of Adkins performance and then sound off with your thoughts in the comments.
(Originally published Nov. 29, 2012, at 8:45 a.m. PT)