Country Rock Band Dropped From Concert Over Use Of Confederate Flag

A Confederate Navy jack flag sits at the base of a memorial
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Just weeks after The Inquisitr reported that the country rock band Confederate Railroad had been inexplicably removed from an Illinois state fair, the group has been banned from another scheduled concert — this time in New York.

San Francisco Chronicle reports that the band’s performance at the Ulster State Fair in New Paltz, New York, which was set to take place on August 1, has been canceled because of their Confederate symbolism, according to fair spokesperson Pat Ryan.

“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community,” Ryan said. “Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration.”

The rock band’s logo has come under fire in recent weeks for its image of a steam train flying dual Confederate flags. Considering that the flag is often a source of heavy criticism due to its historic association with slavery, racism and segregation, it’s understandable why the festival’s organizers are wary of upsetting attendees.

On the other hand, supporters of the flag say it represents Southern pride and heritage, and this view is echoed by Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley.

“I love the part of the country I’m from, and I will never apologize for that.”

Shirley went on to provide some context about the band’s history, claiming that their name and logo was inspired by a steam locomotive called the General — which was commandeered in Georgia by a Union raiding party during the Civil War.

Shirley also told the outlet that his band’s removal from the state fair is another example of people being too sensitive, saying that he and his bandmates are just “the flavor of the month” in the court of public outrage.

Following the band’s cancellation from the state fair in Illinois, Shirley told Fox News that he was surprised they were dropped from the event as they’d played it before.

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Furthermore, he spoke about how incidents like these can affect musicians’ livelihoods.

“Live concerts are how we pay our bills and feed our families. I would never want to see another act lose a payday because of this.”

However, this is one of many controversies pertaining to the flag and similar iconography in recent times. As noted by Delaware Online, more than 100 Confederate monuments and symbols have been removed in 22 states since June 2015.

While some may argue that these events erase American history, critics believe that even non-racist attachment to the flag trivializes the experiences of the African Americans who have faced racism in the south.