As the Inquisitr previously reported, NASCAR asked its fans to no longer display Confederate flags at racetracks, following the controversy that has erupted since the Charleston church shooting in South Carolina last month. But prior to Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona International Speedway, some fans said they intended to continue the tradition of displaying Confederate flags at the race.
Confederate flags haven’t officially been banned from NASCAR events, but fans have been told to refrain from displaying them on their RVs. On the day before the race, there were still plenty of NASCAR fans who weren’t backing down. According to the Associated Press, via Yahoo! News, several fans who have been attending NASCAR races for years were outraged by the organization’s decision to no longer allow Confederate flags to be displayed. Paul Stevens said he couldn’t believe that NASCAR would do such a thing.
“It kills me that NASCAR is jumping on the bandwagon. They should just let it pass, let everything die down. But NASCAR is too quick to try to be politically correct like everybody else.”
Steven Rebenstorf is another NASCAR fan who is letting the Confederate flag fly atop of his canopy tent. If a ban does officially get pushed through, Rebenstorf said he’s not taking his flag down, because he sees nothing wrong with it.
“The Confederate flag has absolutely nothing to do with slavery. It has nothing to do with divisiveness. It has nothing to do with any of that. It was just a battle banner until the Ku Klux Klan draped it around themselves. Now, all of a sudden, it represents slavery and that’s not at all true.”
While there were many defending their choice to let Confederate flags fly, NASCAR did offer a program in which people could trade for an American flag. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood called the program “appropriate” considering the controversy that has been surrounding the Confederate flag.
“More importantly, I think it’s important to trust our fans, asking our fans to display a flag that we should all be proud of. Everybody should be proud of the American flag.”
Former NASCAR driver Richard Petty even weighed in on the issue, telling the Orlando Sentinel that the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag will not last that long.
“I think it’s a passing fancy; it will go for a week or two, everybody talks about it, then something else comes up and it will go off the board and nobody will pay any attention to it.”
[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]