Daytona Speedway Hopes Fans Dump Confederate Flags for ‘Trade-Ins’

AP Photo/Rob Carr
AP Photo/Rob Carr

NASCAR’s Daytona Speedway is trying to entice fans away from displaying the Confederate flag on their vehicles and persons by offering a special “trade-in” for every Confederate flag turned in to Speedway offices.

Saying that the Confederate flag might ruin some fans’s raceway enjoyment, Speedway president Joie Chitwood recently announced that fans can turn in their Confederate flag and get a brand new American flag to wave during the event.

“I think the goal of any NASCAR event, and specifically Daytona, we want to be inclusive to everyone,” Chitwood said on Tuesday. “The last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things that we’re not proud of.”

Chitwood also said the Confederate flag has “no place” in NASCAR.

“Going forward, (we) really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn’t have a place in our sport. We’ve got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that point,” he said.

Chitwood’s move comes on the heels of the announcement by NASCAR chief Brian France who said that he intends to somehow force fans to stop bringing the Confederate flag to races.

Still, Chitwood said he didn’t envision that it would be possible to put an outright ban on the flag, at least at this point.

“At this point, with the late nature of where we are, we cannot ban anything, we cannot change our policy. Needless to say, there is a lot of discussion of how we get there and what we can do in the future so we make sure that we celebrate all that is right in this country,” Chitwood said.

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