September 11, 2023 10:56 AM
The group, called the Revolution Club Chicago, had 20 people at the protest outside Aldean’s concert, which was being performed in Tinley Park, Illinois. The group’s burning of a U.S. flag comes after Aldean’s hit song, “Try That In A Small Town,” was released earlier this year, with the song criticizing people who attack the U.S. flag and law enforcement.
“Guess what, Jason?” said Rafael Kadaris, a California resident who visited Tinley Park to partake in the protest. “We will try that in a small town. We will try that in a big city. And we will try it right in front of your concert.”
The flag was burned by Leo Pargo, one of the group’s leaders, who claimed that burning the flag is protected speech and that people in the United States “have been lied to about communism.” There were no interactions between the protesters and people attending the concert, outside of a few attendees flipping off the protesters.
“Try That In A Small Town” was removed from Country Music Television in July, leading to the song making major waves on social media. The song’s music video features footage of a U.S. flag burning, someone holding a Molotov cocktail, and people breaking into jewelry displays.
“Cuss out a cop, spit in his face/ Stomp on the flag and light it up/ Yeah, ya think you’re tough/ Well, try that in a small town/ See how far ya make it down the road,” the song’s lyrics read.
As of Monday, the song has 35 million views and over 1.3 million likes on YouTube.
A poll released in August found that a majority of people were against CMT’s decision to remove “Try That In A Small Town” from the channel’s rotation, with 52% of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with CMT’s decision. Meanwhile, 33% supported the decision, and 15% neither agreed or were opposed to the decision, or did not know, according to the poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
A total of 1,500 adults were surveyed in the poll.