NASCAR bans Confederate flag from its races and properties

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and venues on Wednesday, formally severing itself from what for many is a symbol of slavery and racism.

Posted: Jun 10, 2020 7:14 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2020 7:16 PM

(AP) — NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and venues on Wednesday, formally severing itself from what for many is a symbol of slavery and racism.

The move comes amid social unrest around the globe following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis while being detained by several white police officers. Protests have roiled the nation for days and Confederate monuments are being taken down across the South — the tradtiional fan base for NASCAR.

Confederate flags have been a familiar sight at NASCAR races over its 72-year history, dotting the infield atop RVs or being waved by fans in the grandstands, though the stock car series with its roots in moonshine running has in recent years taken cautious steps to sever the connection.

The issue was pushed to the fore this week as Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver, called for the banishment of the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for them in the sport. At long last, NASCAR obliged.

“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,” NASCAR said. “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.”

NASCAR said it would have no additional comment.

The move was announced before Wednesday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway where Wallace, an Alabama native, was driving Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme. Wallace was praised for his stance on Twitter from several athletes, including NBA star LeBron James, and for using the scheme in the race.

NASCAR did not address how it would enforce the policy or what might happen for fans who bringing the Confederate flag to the track. NASCAR has not raced with fans since the sport resumed last month amid the pandemic. It has announced plans to welcome a small number of fans allowed at races this month in Florida and Georgia.

Five years ago, the flag issue was front and center for NASCAR after nine black churchgoers were slain in Charleston, South Carolina. The man currently on death row for the murders, Dylann Roof, had embraced Confederate symbols before the attack, prompting a reappraisal of the role such symbols play in the South.

The NASCAR chairman at the time, Brian Frnace, said the series was “working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.” Tracks offered to exchange Confederate flags for American flags, but there were few takers and flags have continued to be seen at the events.

NASCAR had been more open in recent times to the eradication of the Confederate flag. Several drivers — including two-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin — said they supported Wallace in his quest to rid the sport of the flag.

The predominantly white field of drivers united over the weekend for a video promoting social change. A black NASCAR official, Kirk Price, took a knee before Sunday’s race near Atlanta in what may have been a first for the series. Wallace wore a black T-shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” at the race.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps addressed the drivers before last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and vowed to to do a better job of addressing racial injustice in the wake of Floyd’s death.

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 91°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Williamsport
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Logansport
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 93°
Hotter & More Humid with Some Storms, Then a Cool-Down
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78632

Reported Deaths: 3113
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16437734
Lake7952283
Elkhart505191
Allen4161164
St. Joseph376683
Hamilton3033104
Vanderburgh212215
Hendricks1978109
Johnson1819119
Cass18139
Porter141539
Clark135250
Tippecanoe129312
Madison106266
LaPorte96730
Howard94865
Kosciusko87812
Bartholomew86747
Floyd86150
Marshall80523
Monroe78432
Vigo77913
Delaware77752
Dubois72912
Noble71729
Boone71646
Hancock70239
Warrick61230
Jackson6075
Shelby57328
LaGrange57110
Grant53330
Dearborn52828
Morgan50135
Henry46720
Clinton4624
Wayne41010
White38411
Montgomery36721
Harrison36524
Lawrence35927
Decatur35332
Putnam3318
Daviess29620
Scott28110
Miami2792
Jasper2662
Greene25934
Franklin25116
Gibson2464
DeKalb2444
Jennings23312
Ripley2218
Steuben2173
Carroll2135
Fayette2097
Perry18913
Orange18824
Posey1840
Starke1817
Wabash1805
Wells1802
Fulton1752
Jefferson1752
Knox1711
Sullivan1631
Whitley1626
Tipton15516
Washington1531
Clay1505
Spencer1403
Randolph1345
Huntington1303
Adams1242
Newton12110
Owen1131
Rush1004
Jay970
Pulaski841
Brown762
Fountain762
Pike670
Blackford662
Benton640
Ohio636
Vermillion620
Switzerland590
Parke581
Martin530
Crawford500
Union420
Warren251
Unassigned0207

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events