Tennessee Governor Bill Lee responds to Confederate uniform photo, regrets participation in hindsight

Posted at 2:29 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 15:29:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has responded to the release of a photo showing him in a Confederate uniform in a 1980 yearbook at his alma mater, Auburn University, saying, in hindsight, "participating was insensitive and I've come to regret it."

The photo of Governor Lee surfaced on Thursday.

In the photo, Lee can be seen attending an Old South Party, wearing the the jacket of a Confederate soldier. Lee is pictured with another man and two women carrying parasols at an event that were known to be a common in Kappa Alpha fraternity chapters in the past.

In response, Governor Lee said, in full, “Although I have never acted to intentionally hurt anyone, I have the benefit of 40 years of hindsight to see that participating was insensitive and I’ve come to regret it.”

Old South parties were banned by Kappa Alpha fraternities in January of 2016. According to their updated bylaws, "Chapters shall not sponsor functions with the name Old South or functions with any similar name. All functions and activities must be conducted with restraint and dignity and without trappings and symbols that might be misinterpreted and objectionable to the general public."