WANAQUE — An Assemblyman has stepped into the controversy over symbols of the Confederacy — posting a picture of himself in front of a Confederate flag on his personal Facebook page.

Parker Space of the 24th District — which includes parts of Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties — posted a picture of himself and his wife Jill at a concert in Bethel, N.Y., standing in front of a Confederate flag with the image of Hank Williams Jr. He captioned it: "Tailgating waiting for Hank. Hope no one is offended! LOL," according to NJ.com.

The picture appears to have been removed from the personal page, on which Space listed for his educational background that he studied at "Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise." The Michigan singer has had a Confederate flag on stage during his performances, including at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City in 2004.

Space sent a statement to New Jersey 101.5 that offered an apology to those who don't understand his humor that comes as a member of "the working class."

"I represent a forgotten group of people in America: the working class. We come from all races, creeds, colors, and genders. We are over 60 percent of the American public but are just 3 percent of the legislators in America. That's why the economy is so skewed against us," Space wrote.

"The working people that I am a part of helped to make America great. We have our own ways, our own music, our own sense of humor. Over the weekend, I attended a Hank Williams Jr. concert and posted a photograph of my wife and I in front of a Hank Williams Jr. banner. I added what I thought was a humorous comment to the Facebook post," Spence wrote. "No offense meant, if any of you were truly offended."

A Facebook user named Jenni Pisghetti posted a screenshot of the image on Space's legislative page in the comment section of three different posts. The entire legislative page could not be accessed on Tuesday morning.

Others posted screenshots to their own pages — some, but not all, saying they were upset over the post:

Space abstained from voting on an Assembly resolution in 2016 that condemned the use of the Confederate flag at certain state monuments and supported efforts to "omit references to the Confederate flag." The resolution passed 73-0.

In a statement to NJ.com, Space defended the picture:

"Are you really trying to go there? It was a Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr. concert and I was there with about 20,000 others. Are you saying that those bands are racist? I am sure the African-American members of Hank's touring band wouldn't think so. Thank goodness it wasn't an Ozzie (sic) Osbourne or KISS performance, then you would accuse me (of) being a Nazi or a satanist. When is this stuff going to end?" Space said.

Statement from Parker Space:

I represent a forgotten group of people in America: the working class. We come from all races, creeds, colors, and genders. We are over 60 percent of the American public but are just 3 percent of the legislators in America. That's why the economy is so skewed against us.

I get up at 4 AM every day, work in the fields, care for the animals, their feeding and health. When I'm not baling hay, I'm putting out fires -- just like my grandfather and father did, and my son does too, we're all volunteer firefighters.

The working people that I am a part of helped to make America great. We have our own ways, our own music, our own sense of humor. Over the weekend, I attended a Hank Williams Jr. concert and posted a photograph of my wife and I in front of a Hank Williams Jr. banner. I added what I thought was a humorous comment to the Facebook post.

This appears to have offended some people. I am sorry if you don't understand our sense of humor. I come from a place where you call the big guy "tiny" as a joke. Maybe you have to bale hay to get it. So no offense meant, if any of you were truly offended.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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