November 8, 2005
NASCAR and the Confederate Flag(Filed under: Extracurricular)
Last month NASCAR CEO Brian France addressed the southern image of NASCAR on 60 Minutes, specifically the confederate flag that many fans display:
"It's not a flag that I look at with anything favorable. That's for sure. I can't tell people what flag to fly. I can tell you the flag we get behind: It's the American flag."
Many fans are upset at what comes across as a blatantly politically correct mindset, simply to broaden the appeal of the sport. The southern redneck image doesn't get NASCAR very far, so by distancing themselves from that image and encouraging minorities and women to take part in that sport they can pull in more fans.
At least that's what some fans assume. These same fans seem to think NASCAR is only for them and it's sacrilige if somebody likes NASCAR without knowing who Dale Earnhardt is. Please. Yes, a sport needs to remember and honor its history and heritage, but let's not club the newbies who are still figuring it out. Once upon a time you were once a NASCAR newbie, too. When more people like the sport it doesn't mean NASCAR is selling out. [And hello, it's NASCAR. Racing has been about selling out since the first sponsor was slapped on a quarter panel.]
It's this kind of attitude that sees distancing the sport from the Confederate flag as some kind of bad move. Hello? It's the Confederate flag. It's a symbol of white supremacy and slavery. Many may argue that it's simply a flag of southern pride, but please. Is the Nazi flag a banner for German pride? I don't think so. Try flying the Confederate flag in a black neighborhood and see how many people congratulate you on your southern pride.
While France's motives may be questionable, there's nothing wrong with distancing NASCAR from the Confederate flag.
Posted by kevin at November 8, 2005 1:39 PM
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Not once did I state the flag was a symbol of Southern Pride in my post. I said that I flew the Confederate flag. I also fly the flags of Belgium and Italy, along with the American flag and the POW/MIA flag. Because of my Italian roots, does that make me a supporter of the mob? I fly the Belgian Flag...so that must mean that I drink an awful lot of lager.
My comment was only made towards Corporate France. If the tracks want to ban the flying of the Confederate flag, then they should do it. Free Country. I'm just tired of people talking the talk...but not walking the walk.
Posted by: CJ at November 8, 2005 8:37 PM