Video of Senate Candidate Gary Chambers Burning Confederate Flag Viewed Over 600,000 Times

A campaign video showing a Democratic Senate candidate dousing a Confederate battle flag in gasoline and setting fire to it has now been viewed more than 600,000 times.

Gary Chambers' new ad is entitled "Scars and Bars"—a reference to the "Stars and Bars" of the flag—and the U.S. Senate candidate addressed racial inequality in the now viral video.

Chambers is hoping to challenge Louisiana's Republican Senator John Kennedy in the November midterm elections, but Kennedy appears on track for a second term in the deep red state.

The ad began with Chambers holding a U.S. flag as he said: "They said we hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal."

The video then transitioned to Chambers holding a Confederate battle flag as he went on: "But here in Louisiana and all over the South, Jim Crow never really left and the remnants of the Confederacy remain."

As Chambers continued speaking about racial inequality in the U.S. he poured gasoline over the Confederate flag and set fire to it with a lighter bearing his initials.

"Our system isn't broken—it's designed to do what it's doing: produce measurable inequity," Chambers said.

He later added: "It's time to burn what remains of the Confederacy down. I do believe the South will rise again. But this time it'll be on our terms."

A version of the ad shared by Chambers' official Twitter account had been watched more than 500,000 times as of early Thursday morning. The ad had also racked up more than 180,000 views on YouTube at the time of writing.

On Friday, Chambers' senior adviser Erick Sanchez told Newsweek in a statement: "We're grateful for the positive reaction our ads have received online. Our ads are representative of Gary's passion to raise awareness for the issues that leave the often forgotten communities in this country behind.

"While the imagery might be deemed controversial by some, the harsh realities that are highlighted in these ads should be infuriating to all."

Chambers is no stranger to the spotlight. A video of him speaking at a school board meeting in Baton Rouge went viral in 2020. He strongly criticized a school board member who defended naming a school after Confederate general Robert E. Lee and appeared to be online shopping during the meeting.

Chambers also went viral in January 2022 because of his first campaign ad, which featured him smoking marijuana and discussing statistics for Black Americans and marijuana arrests.

In a statement to Rolling Stone on Wednesday, Chambers said: "Every single day, Black people are faced with new challenges that make the American dream harder and harder to reach."

"It's Black History Month, and as we celebrate the progress of the Black community, we can't ignore the oppressive parts of our history that continue to negatively shape our everyday lives," he said.

Chambers will compete in Louisiana's "jungle primary" in November, when he will face off against Kennedy and two other Democratic candidates. If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote, the top two will proceed to a runoff election.

Update 02/11/22 08:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a statement from the Gary Chambers campaign.

Gary Chambers Burns a Confederate Flag
U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers burns a Confederate battle flag in a new campaign ad. Chambers is a Democrat hoping to challenge Republican Senator John Kennedy. Gary Chambers/YouTube