Confederate flag will fly at Speedway.

Daytona Times

                                                                                                  Confederate flag will fly at Speedway


DIS to offer flag swap at weekend races


Last week, NASCAR Chairman Bill France announced that the Confederate flag would be banned from the sanctioning body’s races. But on Tuesday, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said the flag would be allowed at this weekend’s races in Daytona Beach.

A racing fan sits on a makeshift seat near Turn 3 with his Confederate flag prominently displayed during this year’s Daytona 500.(DUANE C.  FERNANDEZ SR./ HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM)

Chitwood said the Speedway will not ban the Confederate flag but will offer an exchange of a Confederate flag for a U.S. one.

“I think the goal of any NASCAR event, and specifically Daytona, we want to be inclusive to everyone,” Chitwod said. “The last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things that we’re not proud of.

“For us, we’re celebrating the American flag this weekend. It’s our nation’s birthday. We’re going to have a flag exchange opportunity. So fans who would like to fly the American flag, we’ll trade with you on whatever flag you have. We want you to celebrate that flag this weekend.”

‘Offensive symbol’
On June 27, France said the Confederate flag has to go.

“We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag,” France told The Associated Press on June 27. “I personally find it an offensive symbol so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way.

“We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.”

The decision aligns with a nationwide awareness to mute the flag’s public presence following the deadly massacre of nine innocent African-Americans shot to death last month during a Bible study at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C.

Dylann Roof, a self-proclaimed White supremacist, has been arrested and charged in the “hate crime” and his legacy includes disturbing images of him draped in a Confederate flag.

In the aftermath of the killings, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley chose to reverse her previous stance on the Confederate flag, which has flown on the grounds of the State House since 1962 amidst ongoing protests. A Republican, who is the first ethnic minority and first woman to serve as governor, she advised fellow lawmakers they needed to “remove the flag” once and for all.

Popular racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. said last weekend that he disapproves of the Confederate flag.

“I think it is offensive to an entire race. It really does nothing for anybody to be there, flying. It belongs in the history books and that’s about it,’’ he said.

More Black fans
Volusia County is the proud home to NASCAR, a largely White-dominated sport that has struggled to establish diversity in both participation and fan base. With an inbred history of racism and exclusion, the Confederate flag has dually served as symbol of the “Old South” for millions of White fans who attend Daytona International Speedway events. They collectively create a blanket of RVs, campers and parked cars emblazoned with the Confederacy icon.

For some Blacks, the flag is too closely aligned with the Ku Klux Klan. But for others, it has not been a barrier to racetrack indulgence.

According to the NASCAR, stock car racing is the fastest-growing sport among African-Americans and Hispanics. Since 1995, the percentage of Black fans increased 18 percent to 2 million. And African-Americans comprise nearly 10 percent of NASCAR’s fan base.

In an effort to expand its multicultural audience, NASCAR implemented an “industry action plan” aimed at youths under 18 and the 18-to-34 demographic. The age of the average NASCAR fan is 51 years old. Many of those enthusiasts, Black and White, hail from the post-segregation era where flags and some signs were too often deemed offensive.

Beyond freedom of expression
Millions of the stars-and-bars flag are proudly exhibited by citizens who also embrace it as a homage to their heritage instead of hate. Throughout Florida, pickup trucks don Confederate flags in rearview mirrors and nostalgic license plates are plentiful.

NASCAR officials remain readily aware that policing the presence of the flags throughout the Speedway’s common areas like parking lots will be a challenge. Even for the most zealous sports fan, the First Amendment freedom of expression prevails.

“That’s what we’re working on — working on how far can we go,” France said last week. “If there’s more we can do to disassociate ourselves with that flag at our events than we’ve already done, then we want to do it. We are going to be as aggressive as we can to disassociate ourselves with that flag,” he added.

History, not hate
France expressed gratitude and a commitment to diversity on Jan. 30 when he enshrined NASCAR trailblazer Wendell Scott as the first African-American inducted into the Hall of Fame. It was his third year on the ballot for consideration despite a 13-year career that resulted in over 100 regional-level wins.

“This is a proud day for NASCAR and one of the most significant days in the history of our sport,’’ France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “We are honored to announce Wendell Scott is a member of our 2015 class of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees. Wendell had plenty of success in our premier series but his contributions, of course, transcended any results on the race track.”

Scott endured tremendous racism throughout this illustrious career and would likely be proud of his beloved sport’s initiative to embrace diversity and eradicate the confederate flag.

“Obviously, we have our roots in the South, there are events in the South, it’s part of our history like it is for the country,” France said. “But it needs to be just that, part of our history. It isn’t part of our future. We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area.”

2 Responses to Confederate flag will fly at Speedway

    1. William Smalley

      History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
      MYTH – The War of 1861 – 1865 was fought over slavery.
      FACT – Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain and simple. When the South started Secession, Lincoln was asked, “Why not let the South go in peace?” To which he replied, “I can’t let them go. Who would pay for the government?” Sensing total financial ruin for the North, Lincoln waged war on the South. The South fought the War to repel Northern aggression and invasion.
      MYTH – Only Southerners owned slaves.
      FACT – Entirely untrue. Many Northern civilians owned slaves. Prior to, during and even after the War Of Northern Aggression.
      Surprisingly, to many history impaired individuals, most Union Generals and staff had slaves to serve them! William T. Sherman had many slaves that served him until well after the war was over and did not free them until late in 1865.
      U.S. Grant also had several slaves, who were only freed after the 13th amendment in December of 1865. When asked why he didn’t free his slaves earlier, Grant stated “Good help is so hard to come by these days.”
      Contrarily, Confederate General Robert E. Lee freed his slaves (which he never purchased – they were inherited) in 1862!!! Lee freed his slaves several years before the war was over, and considerably earlier than his Northern counterparts. And during the fierce early days of the war when the South was obliterating the Yankee armies!
      Lastly, and most importantly, why did NORTHERN States outlaw slavery only AFTER the war was over? The so-called “Emancipation Proclamation” of Lincoln only gave freedom to slaves in the SOUTH! NOT in the North! This pecksniffery even went so far as to find the state of Delaware rejecting the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 and did not ratify it (13th Amendment / free the slaves) until 1901!
      MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag was flown on slave ships.
      FACT – NONE of the flags of the Confederacy or Southern Nation ever flew over a slave ship. Nor did the South own or operate any slaves ships. The English, the Dutch and the Portugese brought slaves to this country, not the Southern Nation.
      BUT, even more monumental, it is also very important to know and understand that Federal, Yankee, Union ships brought slaves to America! These ships were from the New England states, and their hypocrisy is atrocious.
      These Federals were ones that ended up crying the loudest about slavery. But without their ships, many of the slaves would have never arrived here. They made countless fortunes on the delivery of slaves as well as the products madefrom raw materials such as cotton and tobacco in the South.
      This is the problem with Yankee history History is overwhelmingly portrayed incorrectly by most of the Federal & Yankee books and media.
      MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag represented the Southern Nation.
      FACT – Not true. While the Southern Battle flag was carried into battle, the Southern Nation had 3 different National flags during the course of the war.
      The First National flag was changed due to a resemblance of the US flag.
      The Second National flag was subsequently modified due to the similarity to a flag of truce.
      The Third National flag was the adopted flag of the Confederacy.
      The Confederate Battle Flag was never a National Flag of the Confederacy. It was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army Of Northen Virginia and the Army of Tennessee. Was also used as a Naval Jack by the Confederate Navy.
      MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the “Stars & Bars”.
      FACT – A common misconception. The First National Confederate Flag is correctly known as the “Stars & Bars”. The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the “Southern Cross”.
      MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag represents racism today.
      FACT – The Confederate Battle Flag today finds itself in the center of much controversy and hoopla going on in several states. The cry to take this flag down is unjustified. It is very important to keep in mind that the Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism? This myth is continued by lack of education and ignorance. Those that villify the Confederate Battle Flag are very confused about history and have jumped upon a bandwagon with loose wheels.
      MYTH – The United States Flag represented freedom.
      FACT – No chance. The US flag flew over a slave nation for over 85 years! The North tolerated slavery and acknowledged it as a Division Of Labor. The North made a vast fortune on slavery and it’s commodities. It wasn’t until the South decided to leave the Union that the North objected. The North knew it could not survive without the Southern money. That is the true definition of hypocrisy.
      MYTH – Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator.
      FACT – While Lincoln has went down in history as the Great Emancipator, many would not care to hear his real thoughts on people of color. Martyred President Abraham Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed slaves to the jungles of Central America once the war was over. Knowing that African society would never allow the slaves to return back to Africa, Lincoln also did not want the slaves in the US. He thought the jungles of Central America would be the best solution and conducive to the freed slaves best interest. The only thing that kept this from happening, was his assassination.
      MYTH – The South revered slavery.
      FACT – A very interesting fact on slavery is that at the time the War of 1861 -1865 officially commenced, the Southern States were actually in the process of freeing all slaves in the South. Russia had freed it’s servants in 1859, and the South took great note of this. Had military intervention not been forced upon the South, a very different America would have been realized then as well as now.
      MYTH – The Confederate Army was comprised of rich slave owners.
      FACT – Very far from true. The vast majority of soldiers in the Confederate Army were simple men of meager income. Most of which were hard working farmers and common men. Then, as now, very few rich men ever fight a war.
      MYTH – Only the North had men of color in their ranks.
      FACT – Quite simply a major falsehood of history. Many blacks, both free and of their own will, joined the Confederate Army to fight for their beloved Southern home. Additionally, men of other ethnic extraction fought as well. Oriental, Mexican & Spanish men as well as Native American Indians fought with pride for the South.
      Today, many men of color are members in the heritage group SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans. These men of color and pride rejoice in their heritage. The continued attacks on the Southern Nation, The Confederacy, and her symbols are a terrible outrage to these fine people. These attacks should be denounced with as much fervor as those who denounce the South.
      MYTH – The Confederate Flags are an authorized symbol of Aryan, KKK and hate groups.
      FACT – Quite the contrary. These dispicable organizations such as the KKK and Aryans have taken a hallowed piece of history, and have plagued good Southern folks and the memories of fine Confederate Soldiers that fought under the flag with their perverse agenda. IN NO WAY does the Confederate Flag represent hate or violence. Heritage groups such as the SCV battle daily the damage done to a proud nation by these hate groups. The SCV denounces all hate groups, and pridefully boast HERITAGE – NOT HATE.
      MYTH – The SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a racist, hate group.
      FACT – This is a blatant attack on one of the finest heritage groups ever. The SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a historical, patriotic and non-political organization comprised of descendents of Confederate Soldiers and sailors dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861 -1865 period is preserved and presented to the public. The SCV continues to educate the public of the memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier as well as the motives for his suffering and sacrifice.
      The SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans are in NO WAY affiliated with, nor does it recognize or condone the terrible legacy of hate groups such as the KKK.

  1. Reinhold Schlieper

    Well, no matter the myths and facts, the point is that this flag has become a symbol of White Supremacy factions. As such, it is surely odious to any fair-minded individual. But since we have a right to freedom of speech by way of the First Amendment, anyone who wants to fly an odious symbol on his/her house, truck, car, racetrack, or whatnot is and should be free to fly that flag. However, if you will park your truck with that symbol in my driveway, I shall reserve the right to not associate with you and to ask you to leave. As it should not endorse any particular religion, any governmental agency should not endorse a flag other than the one for which it is in service. A state flag with this odious symbol in it should be revised. And if such a flag should fly on a governmental building, any state agency should not hesitate to take it down, for a governmental agency has the function of serving all its citizens–no matter their religion, geographical or ethnic origin, or sexual identity. I’m with Bree Newsome on this one: Take the darned thing down!

3 comments on “Confederate flag will fly at Speedway.

  1. Congratulations on another great article! I also enjoyed the comments to the article but I agree with the statements in the article, the confederate flag belongs in the past along with many other offensive but factual historical aspects of our American history. We must break away from rascist legacies that divide our country if we truly hope to unify and move our country towards healing.


    • Thanks Natalie!
      I just completed a follow-up today regarding NASCAR and flag. Dale Earnhardt, Jr won the Coke 400 series Sunday night, but racer Dillon crashed into the Chain fence. Safety and more flag business are the focus. Thanks for your support♡


  2. Thanks for writing about this important topic!

    ” Popular racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. said last weekend that he disapproves of the Confederate flag.
    “I think it is offensive to an entire race. It really does nothing for anybody to be there, flying. It belongs in the history books and that’s about it,’’ he said. ”

    I wish all my NASCAR-loving friends and family would see this comment made by their favorite driver.

    As for the lengthy, defensive lecture by another commenter, this sentence is the biggest MYTH of ALL: ” IN NO WAY does the Confederate Flag represent hate or violence. ”
    I am looking for the quote to post here by the designer of the Confederate flag, who did in fact make a direct statement of how it represents white supremacy. When a symbol represents white supremacy, how can it not represent hate and violence?


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