Home Sports Confederate flag flies above NASCAR race for second time since ban

Confederate flag flies above NASCAR race for second time since ban

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A Confederate flag flew above a NASCAR race in Tennessee this week, marking the second appearance of the hateful symbol at events since it was banned last month.

A small plane towing the flag circled above Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol for several hours starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday ahead of NASCAR’s All-Star Race while flying a banner with the Confederate flag and the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo, the Bristol Herald Courier reports.

The banner also featured the group’s website, USA Today reports.

The Tennessee-based group took responsibility for flying a similar display on June 21 over Talladega Superspeedway, where a “Defund NASCAR” banner appeared alongside the Confederate flag.

NASCAR said last month that the presence of the controversial symbol “runs contrary” to providing all fans a welcoming environment at its events. The announcement came just one day after driver Bubba Wallace called for the ban in light of a noose being found in his garage.

An FBI investigation into a possible hate crime surrounding the noose later determined that it had been there since at least October 2019.

The website for the Sons of Confederate Veterans featured a pop-up display Thursday with a photo of the banner that flew over Talladega while offering information on the “truth about Southern heritage.” It also asks for donations to support “more flyovers” in the future.

Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor SpeedwayGetty Images

“Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause,” the group’s website reads.

The commander in chief of the group, Paul C. Grambling Jr., did not respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday, the Washington Post reports.

Grambling told the Columbia Daily Herald last month that the ban by NASCAR would not “go unchallenged.”

“NASCAR’s banning the display of the Confederate battle flag by its fans is nothing less than trampling upon southerners’ First Amendment right of free expression,” Grambling told the newspaper.

There were no Confederate flags visible in the grandstands during Wednesday’s race, USA Today reports.

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