Even NASCAR Wants the Confederate Flag Taken Down

An outrageously unlikely candidate joins the fight for the flag’s removal.

Image via Wikimedia

In the past week, calls to take the Confederate flag down have come from a highly unexpected group of sources: Republican Governor Nikki Haley, Amazon, and everyone’s favorite superstore, Walmart. To make things even stranger, NASCAR—an organization not exactly known for its progressive politics—recently threw their name into the hat. They’re enjoining not only South Carolina, but also Darlington Raceway, home of the Sprint Cup series, to finally take down the all-too-symbolic flag.

Image via Flickr user eyeliam

Go to a NASCAR race and you’re very likely to see Confederate flags in the parking lot, but the organization has actually disallowed flags (in any official capacity) for years. According to a statement released by NASCAR and shared withThe Post and Courier: “As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation’s embrace of those impacted … NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday.” While NASCAR emphasized that they wanted to keep their events inclusive, “[We] will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity.”

While NASCAR’s position on South Carolina’s flag is clear, it’s uncertain what it’ll look like at Darlington. Just because a flag is banned in an official capacity doesn’t mean it can’t be shared by private individuals at public events. Still, it’s a symbolic step forward in a movement that’s revving its engines and picking up speed, fast.