Local Fans React To NASCAR’s Confederate Flag Stance, Daytona Flag Exchange
NASCAR fans are split over Daytona International Speedway’s decision to do a flag exchange at this weekend’s Coke Zero 400.
The move comes on the heels of controversial pronouncements from NASCAR, discouraging fans from flying the Confederate flag at its races.
Daytona International Speedway officials say Coke Zero 400 attendees can trade a flag for the American flag on this July 4th weekend.
Many local fans have taken to social media in recent days to speak out both in favor of and against the decisions of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR fan Jim Trebowski of Orlando said he can understand that the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage or family history for some people, but he also applauds the business sense and “big-tent” appeal of the flag exchange.
“I think it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s inclusive – the American flag stands for everyone, not just a certain segment of the population.”
“I’m not sure that it’s going to be all that successful,” he added. “The people that bring the Confederate flags to the race are most likely very aware of that plan, and they’re doing it to make a statement.”
In a press release Thursday, NASCAR said in part, “We are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.”
The suspect in last week’s shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina is a white man who embraced Confederate symbols before the attack. That revelation is prompting a re-appraisal of the role those symbols play in the modern South.
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