From its early days that branched out of moonshiners evading the revenuers to the modern era of diversity, NASCAR is filled with fans flying all manner of flags from the American flag to drivers flags…and even the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederate States.
In the wake of recent events including the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department to massive protests, NASCAR diversity driver Bubba Wallace has urged NASCAR to rid the sport of the flag that represents a group of states who seceded from the Union and fought a Civil War over the right to own slaves.
On June 10, NASCAR agreed with Wallace and has banned the flying of the Confederate flag at all events. The ban includes not just the flag itself; but all representations of the flag whether it be bumper stickers, shirts, or hats.
In a statement issued by NASCAR, “the presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
While the news is welcomed by Wallace and many of his colleagues; not everyone is happy with the new ruling.
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr is a native of Alabama and currently the lone African-American driver on the NASCAR circuit. Mexican born Daniel Suarez is the only other non white driver currently in NASCAR.
Wallace drives the number 43 Richard Petty Motorspots car. For the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, Wallace drove a black car dedicated to Black Lives Matter. The paint scheme included the words “Compassion, Love, Understanding”, a peace sign filled with hands of different colours, and black and white hands clasped together on the hood.
feature photo credit: By Miranda Pederson – Bowling Green Daily News (http://www.bgdailynews.com), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61899335