Despite the fact that millions of NASCAR fans are also fans of the Confederate flag, NASCAR chairman Brian France has announced his intention to ban the historic banner at all races as soon as possible.
“We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag,” France told The Associated Press. “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way.
“We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events,” he added.
On June 23, NASCAR came out in full support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s move to remove the Confederate flag that flew over a Confederate war dead memorial on the state house grounds.
The racing organization said it supported the decision to remove the flag and reiterated its decision to ban the flag on the track.
But banning flags used by racing teams is a far different action than demanding that fans stop bringing the flag to races. Still, that is what France says he plans to do.
“That’s what we’re working on—working on how far can we go,” France said. “If there’s more we can do to disassociate ourselves with that flag at our events than we’ve already done, then we want to do it. We are going to be as aggressive as we can to disassociate ourselves with that flag.”
The Confederate flag, though, is a very popular item of decoration with fans who fly the banner from car antennas and campers, in stickers on car bumpers, on t-shirts, blankets, and any manner of other places.
How France intends to force fans to stop using the Confederate flag has yet to be revealed.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org