By on June 11, 2020

NASCAR officially banned the Confederate flag on Wednesday. It will no longer be allowed to appear in regard to any of its corporate properties and fans won’t be able to bring any iconography that might stoke racial tensions or a suspect “yee-haw” from the crowd.

For years, the sport has made unsuccessful efforts to broaden its appeal, so this is hardly a surprise given everything else that’s going on. In fact, an unofficial initiative attempted to ban the flag back in 2015. It never went anywhere, though, and fans continued to arrive with the Stars and Bars in roughly the same numbers.

This time around, the corporate stance is much stronger, and with more public support behind it. Additionally, NASCAR has decided that racing teams will no longer be obligated to stand for the American flag (the supposedly better one) during the national anthem. 

While the banned flag holds little cultural significance to me as a Northerner, the cynic in me knows this is about a corporation covering its ass and not wanting to be held responsible for the actions of its fans. Racism will assuredly be on the lips of organizers, but blowback in the media will be the concept at the front of everybody’s mind.

Thanks to cancel culture, we’re living in a time where personal accountability is borderline nonexistent, but you can always hold someone else accountable for basically whatever you want. We doubt NASCAR will enforce its rule all that stringently, as anyone who has ever been to a super speedway race knows about twenty campers show up adorned with rebel iconography at every single event. It also doesn’t seem to have any plan for enforcing the flag’s prohibition, just a mandate for its patrons.

(Ed. note: At least one racing journo mentioned on Twitter that NASCAR is quite good at removing banned logos when it wants to be. So we’ll see what happens when fans return. Which could be so long from now that any controversy over the ban has died down).

From NASCAR:

The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.

The corporate line borders on the apolitical, but there was enough wiggle room to incite the kind of conflict NASCAR probably hoped to avoid. Initially, most seemed to not mind the fact that the South won’t rise again over any American speedway — there was even some vocal praise. But then you started seeing people claiming they were finished with the sport, saying prohibiting the flag was overt political censorship, or un-American. NASCAR truck series driver Ray Ciccarelli said he would bow out permanently at the end of the current season.

“Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over,” he wrote on social media. “I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another and I ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”

The page has since been taken down by the author or deleted by Facebook. His Twitter page also doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

NASCAR’s only black driver working full time, Bubba Wallace, praised the decision to ban the Confederate flag. “Props to NASCAR and everybody involved,” he said in response to the ban. “It creates doors and allows the community to come together as one.”

Wallace had his No. 43 livery redone in a Black Lives Matter scheme; earlier in the week, he had called for a ban on the flag following nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice related to the killing of George Floyd.

“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” he told the media.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the updated rules are actually adhered to. Unlike online prohibition, companies have to go well out of their way to stop someone from wearing or holding something that causes offense in real life. Organizers also probably won’t want to turn more people away than they have to, and there’s a chance unhappy campers will defy the rule in protest. That said, there doesn’t seem to be much love left for a banner that can easily be construed as racist (regardless of the holder’s intent) and could get you into trouble — so we don’t really expect to see many cultural clashes at the front gate. Likewise, we doubt the sport’s most ardent fans will cry foul when they see the Confederate flag making an appearance at future events.

Then again, this could turn into a minor skirmish in the ongoing culture war and work against NASCAR’s efforts to regain its popularity. When the NBA effectively sided with the Chinese Communist Party after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of protests in Hong Kong, fans started arriving at games wearing “Stand With Hong Kong” T-shirts. The NBA started ejecting them from games, splitting its fan base while giving itself a black eye.

Granted, NASCAR’s move to prohibit a symbol broadly seen as racist by the public is a lot easier to get behind, but it opens the door for similar conflicts if it happens if a large enough community opposes the ban. The sport is already losing viewers at an alarming rate; polarizing the community hardly seems the way to win them back. Maybe this is all about doing what leadership believes to be the right thing and NASCAR really does have some skin in the game. The only way to know for sure is to count how many problematic flags show up at the next few races… once people are allowed to come back, that is.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, NASCAR wants to keep fans at home until June 21st. Guests will be permitted to attend the Dixie Vodka 400 in Florida and Alabama’s GEICO 500 as the first races open to the public. All fans will reportedly be screened before entering (temperature and PPE checks), be required to wear face masks, and must adhere to new social distance requirements. They will also be forbidden from the infield and subject to additional safety protocols.

Sounds like a blast.

 

[Image: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock; NASCAR]

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121 Comments on “NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag Entirely...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    IBTL!!

  • avatar
    RangerM

    It’s not the end of the world.

    But when NASCAR goes politically correct, it might be a sign of it.

    Waiting for a Tesla on the track

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Well some might say the end occurred when they let a front drive Camry race. I lost interest when these cars became nothing but spec racers with stickers on them. My dad is still a die hard NASCAR fan, but I just don’t get the draft parade followed by massive crash along with various stages separated by yellows to let people catch up.

      Still shocked to see them finally take a stand against what was a symbol that their primary audience seemed to embrace.

      I went to the Daytona 500 a few years back and it seemed like a very family friendly event and not the backwoods drinking competition I assumed. Granted we were in the grandstands and not the infield.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yup. I hate spec racing in NASCAR. I was following the V8 Supercars because it was what NASCAR was on steroids (road courses) but they went spec racer as the number of RWD V8 full-size cars died a slow death globally.

        As the reliability of vehicles has reached an unprecedented level, the element of will the car break has almost been eliminated from motorsports. I miss the days of CART in particular with the different chassis and engine combinations that all had their strengths and weaknesses, which added an additional element to racing.

        Spec racers make it more about driver ability, I get it, but it also makes things as boring as f***.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’d get interested in NASCAR again if a Tesla were on the track, assuming it was properly electric.

      I watched NASCAR when I was rural back in high school. I was enough of an engineer then that I got to see how the races were won and lost in the pits.

      But I’m a real engineer now, and I’d love to see an engineer’s sportscast which follows the pit crew instead of the track and focuses on the real technical details.

      But, I’d settle for seeing a Tesla team out there with all of those custom-built race cars. I’m more interested in the future than I am in tradition. (The traditional guys can root for their traditional brands.)

      Heck, they could handicap the Telsa with an extra large restrictor plate to make it “fair”, LOL…

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        It’s a 500 mile race. Given the ranges of typical NASCAR races and the fact the current cars do tire changes and refuel in about 12 seconds surely the engineer in you sees a couple of issues. Formula E is up to what now…like 80 miles a race?

        Maybe we should make the races a hot lap or a drag race as most EV performance types tend to use that as their yardsticks. Sustained high speeds over hundreds of miles isn’t their thing.

        Having said all that car’s should run stock body shells and stock engine architecture (Ford Turbo V6 or DOHC V8, Chevy and Chrysler, larger OHV V8, Toyota Boosted inline 6…and the Supra body.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Art: The engineer in me, of course, is always looking for solutions:^). What could be done to speed charging is the tactic that I think Tesla is using for charging the semi. You just design the pack so you can electrically separate it into multiple packs for charging. Then, you can use multiple superchargers to charge it. Of course, you’d need some serious off-grid in-pit power storage to do it. I’m doing exactly that (sans supercharging) in my robotics designs. Then again, 12 seconds for NASCAR would be tough.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Battery swapping, oversized batteries, and quick-charging are all options.

          In any case, the engineering quirks of running an electric racecar are a lot more interesting than running on a slightly more refined version of my grandfather’s V8. At least to me.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            And a Mr. Fusion reactor in each pit!

            Think the “Christmas Vacation” scene when Clark finally gets the house lit up, with the brownout surrounding until the nuke plant is brought online — at every caution!

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @sgeffe: Probably need liquid hydrogen cooled charging cables too. Probably have to deal with fog on the pit lane.

            You know, they could solve the problem by cutting slots into the track and running steel bands on either side of the slots for power? It’s NASCAR, no one would notice.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Wait for the whining from the Lost causers. “They’re now going to come after my Dukes of hazard VHS box set”.

    You never saw a swastika flag at a post war German Grand Prix race.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “You never saw a swastika flag at a post war German Grand Prix race.”

      True, but Germany also censors “material that is considered anti-constitutional, or dangerous to the state”. Nazism is outlawed in Germany but not the US.

      Culturally, Germans harbor a lot of post-war guilt that has continued for three generations.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Culturally, Germans harbor a lot of post-war guilt that has continued for three generations.”

        Some of them harbored a lot of regret for losing the war, they just hid it well (probably because they were still scared of the Russians).

        Sometimes it takes generations for a people to shift their thinking.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @JimC2L: During my lifetime I never met an ex-member of the WWII German military who did not keep a separate room, dresser, locker, etc dedicated to their service.

          Yes they would denounce Nazism, but were privately ‘proud’ of the prowess of their military.

          I generally did not reveal my full maternal grandfather’s ‘heritage’ to them and my surname and practicing religion certainly would give them no hint.

          • 0 avatar

            I am not ex-Wehrmacht but I enjoy watching “Triumph of the Will”. Beautiful and impressively shot documentary. Germans had to be proud watching it. In essence that Nazi festival was similar to Soviet communist mythology. When attended high school I participated in gatherings and parades like that at local level as a member of Lenin Communist Youth organization. We spent weeks doing dress rehearsals dressed in special uniforms but Germans brought it to the perfection as they usually do. Was I ready to die for my country? Yes and we were convinced that we have the best military in the world and soviet style socialism is superior to weak and rotten western democracy.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        For what this may be worth, I saw a Confederate flag prominently displayed at a country bar in Munich a couple years ago.

        My only concern is that when you start censoring and cancelling things, you set the precedent for censoring/cancelling in more gray areas (no pun intended) and in a worst case forgetting your history.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Remembering history is easy.

          Confederate generals (and their flags) belong in history books, but not up on pedestals.

          Bang. Done!

          …Assuming the person you’re talking to can read, at least.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            So long as the history books aren’t censored next. My concern is that these things tend to send you down a slippery slope. And again, I certainly don’t celebrate the Confederacy. Nor do I watch NASCAR, or own anything with that flag on it. I’m just saying.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          @Superdessucke, I saw one in Romania. It was at what seemed to be a hastily set up country western themed hotel bar meant to cater to all that Americans there for a NATO event. Someone in our party asked the bartender if she knew what it was and she, honest to God, claimed that she thought it was some symbol for America’s love of jumping cars.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Well, she wasn’t wrong…

            Cowboy bars and Irish pubs are two of the things that seem to spout up in cities almost anywhere in the world where American and/or western and/or English-speaking tourists are present. Sometimes the decor can be a little bit off beat but the hosts usually have their best intentions to provide for their guests’ enjoyment.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Oh no doubt Jim. It was just funny. Between that and Elvis playing. But beer in Romania was cheap and we consumed a ton of it in there and probably owned a lot of their stereotypes of loud, brash drunk Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Yes, there was clearly no malice involved in it, they just wanted a symbol of country America. My guess is that many who display that flag at these NASCAR events feel the same way. They’re not trying to celebrate slavery but rather, display a symbol of the south to show southern pride.

            The message NASCAR is sending is that these people are being racist, when that is likely not the case. I’m not saying what that flag originally stood for is good, I’m just trying to look at it from all sides. We seem to lack empathy and be very quick to judge these days.

            I too have been to Romania. Great country. Everything is cheap as you say, and Brasov is beautiful! My favorite city there. Mountains, history, and many hot hatches. It’s starting to look better and better each passing day….

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Private businesses (which is what NASCAR is) don’t allow many things and fire employees who bring negative light on to the company by saying stupid things.

          There are NO statues and monuments to Benedict Arnold and yet, we Americans, have no problem remembering him.

          There are no statues and monuments of Confederate Generals and leaders in the North and West/Pacific yet, those Americans know of General Lee, Jefferson Davis, etc.

          There are no statues and monuments of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, King Henry VIII, King Louis XVI, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Queen Victoria, etc. and yet most (decently educated) Americans know of them.

          There are things such as books, museums, documentaries, battlefield memorials, etc.

          Just the # of tomes published on the Civil War would take more than a life-time to read.

          There is no good reason why there should be statues and memorials grandizing TRAITORs (even Robert E. Lee and his heirs have stated as such).

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Actually, Bendict Arnold does have a statue. It’s called the Boot Memorial and it’s in Saratoga National Historical Park (probably shouldn’t have said anything LOL!).

            There are Confederate statues in northern and western pacific states, including Indiana, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Iowa, Arizona, California, and Missouri.

            It is definitely true that Germany removed all statutes of Hitler and other Nazis. But that was done immediately and was followed by education and confrontation of the issues that went on for many decades.

            Here, Confederate monuments have been up over 100 years in most cases. And the flag ban is being done abruptly after decades of that thing being a mainstay at the events. Thus, it may come off as virtue signaling and a gesture to appease a particular group, which will certainly alienate some and come across as insincere to others.

            What other changes is NASCAR going to make to include more African-Americans as both fans and drivers? That’s what I’d like to know. If preventing the display of the flag is one part of a thought out plan to be more inclusive, that would be great. But I doubt it is.

            I mean, look, as I said, I’m not saying with the Confederacy stood for is a good thing, nor am I saying that we shouldn’t confront the more unsavory elements of our country’s past. I’m just saying that making hasty gestures in the face of mob demand is dangerous.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            So, what Supersuck is trying to say is that even if you’re wrong as long as you’ve been wrong for a 100 years, you’re right

            … and the earth is 6000 years old and Jesus rode a dinosaur, got it

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          @Superdessucke

          So the flag that Southerners use to display “Southern Pride” is battle flag of an army fighting to preserve slavery over a 4 year period.

          That’s what they chose out of the 250+ years of Southern history?

          And if anyone is censoring history books (textbooks), it’s been conservatives led by the Texas legislature, which, like the Japanese right, has forced text book publishers to gloss over the more ugly parts of American (and Japanese) history.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Apparently that’s what they chose, yup. Go figure right? LOL!

            The difference between the German and U.S. educational systems, which you mentioned above, is that the latter has tended to use history as a weapon against the ideology it disagrees with, while the former has used it to educate to ensure its bad history wasn’t repeated (in one form or other).

            More often than not in the U.S., that has been with a strong liberal versus conservative bias, particularly over the last forty years. Conservatives have not been well represented in U.S. educational institutions since the 1960s.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            If it were up to the conservative schoolin’ would end right after a youngin learned his readin’ and addin’ his numbers

            After all the bible tells us everything we need to know, right?

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            @lie2me – I don’t understand how either of your comments relate to this discussion. You might want to find somewhere else to spout off the anti-Christian talking points you were taught in college somewhere else.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No one with your education/intellect is expected to understand much of anything, which proves my point that a “conservative” education= not much above the 8th grade

            “I love the poorly educated”

            – Donald Trump 2/24/2016

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Superdessucke:
            Conservatives percieve a liberal bias in education because one is taught to look at all the sides of an issue. Also social conservatives don’t like kids being taught sex ed., sexual diversity, evolution, climate change and different religions.
            Conservatives aren’t well represented in higher education because they don’t make up the majority of those with degrees and PhD’s. It’s hard to remain a conservative with advanced education. That is not because of bias or conditioning. One tends to shift left with education. It is a statistically proven fact.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Using holocaust analogies for anything except holocausts is the laziest form of debate ever invented. There oughta be a law denouncing it.

      – Godwin

  • avatar
    Yankee

    I don’t know which is more amazing: that it took this long to ban a symbol of the darkest days of our country, or that NASCAR was the first to do it!

    MRF 95 T-Bird, you nailed it!..Hilariously, I might add. Wonder how long we have to wait for someone to make the ridiculous “heritage, not hate” argument.

  • avatar
    ajla

    As maybe the only actual *current era* NASCAR fan on TTAC, I’ve gone to many NASCAR races over the past decade and I have noticed very few Confederate flags during that time and almost all of them have been outside the track property. Granted, I’m not actively looking for them and I can’t say how the situation is at every track (I’ve never gone to a race at Darlington for example) or how it was pre Y2K.

    So I don’t think this will cause a big backlash among the current fan population. Yea, there are a few Twitter loudmouths complaining and some will sneak things in just to troll the rules but in the end it is like them banning top hats, no one was really doing it anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Possibly. You certainly saw fewer rebel flags after the 1990s ended. Ground zero for the Stars and Bars always seemed to be infield too and that won’t be open to the public for some time.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    This may very well be a non-starter. Unfortunately there will be some that will use it as an opportunity to troll/offend those who see that flag as a symbol of oppression. I’ve never understood the mentality behind the attitude, “I’m happy when those who think differently than me are unhappy.”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I lost interest in NASCAR (and Indycar) years ago; they’ve both become ingrown money-driven organizations, with an ironic lack of diversity in the product put on the track, let alone the drivers.

    Go ahead and ban the flag – it holds no meaning for me – and I’m embarrassed for people who cling to it. But I’m wary of the ‘cancel culture’ that has prevailed for about a decade now. People resign or are fired for a single infraction – or perceived infraction – and the court of public opinion seems to matter more than the law.

    • 0 avatar
      Rich Fitzwell

      Brian France should spend less time in the Hampton’s whacked on Scooby Snacks and more time worrying about the pitiful product called NASCAR.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      There is no grievance that is a fit object for redress by mob law.

      – Abraham Lincoln

      I agree wholeheartedly with your comment.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Begs the question, though…is banning that really “cancel culture”? I’d use that term to describe public shaming of people who say or do stupid things. The confederacy (lowercase on purpose) went WAY beyond that. They literally tried to destroy the United States of America because they wanted to keep on making money by using slave labor. The blood of God only knows how many hundreds of thousands of people is literally on their hands.

      That’s far more serious than some ten-year-old offensive tweet from an airhead celeb who was a drunk college kid at the time.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    NASCAR will still wave the true battle flag of the Confederacy at ever NASCAR race during the last lap.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    I’m an old guy who was really into Nascar when they were, well, stock cars. I gave up years ago. I don’t even consider them cars anymore.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “You never saw a swastika flag at a post war German Grand Prix race”

    Nor do you see any statues honoring Goebbels or Goering.

    Perhaps due to the turmoil created during the Reconstruction era, that the North lost its opportunity to completely excise Confederate symbols.

    It is the subject of intense speculation what would have happened, if Lincoln had not been assassinated.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      A bronze bust of Stalin exists in Bedford, Virginia. There was a big stink about it back in 2010.

      It’s at the National D-Day Memorial.

      I feel like they took it down, but never made a public statement? It’s been a while.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I tripped across this interesting tidbit in relation to Confederate statues,

      “Most Confederate statues were erected between 1890 and 1929, about 30 years after the end of the Civil War. During this time Jim Crow laws were being enacted, and the first generation of African Americans born outside of slavery were deemed a threat to white people and their way of life.”

      https://time.com/5849184/confederate-statues-removed/#:~:text=Most%20Confederate%20statues%20were%20erected,and%20their%20way%20of%20life.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @Schnitt Trigger:
      “Perhaps due to the turmoil created during the Reconstruction era, that the North lost its opportunity to completely excise Confederate symbols.”

      Most of the confederate symbols that we see today were erected generations later:
      https://www.history.com/news/how-the-u-s-got-so-many-confederate-monuments

      Which is to say that these monuments themselves are revisionist history.

      All of this stuff needs to be in history books. But we shouldn’t be putting Confederates up on pedestals — many of them were brilliant on the battlefield, it they committed treason against the United States in support of a racist regime. The only reason they weren’t hanged was because they couldn’t hang all of the loyal Confederate soldiers who followed them — so they kept the Confederate generals around so that they could order their former soldiers become Americans again. Let’s not put that up on a pedestal.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Please don’t think I am supporting these monuments. I am born and raised in the South and I never got it (though I suppose I spent 20 years in the “Union” Army soaybe that’s it lol)

        Most war monuments are erected long after the event they are memorializing has past. Typically the survivors begin to realize they are getting older and push for it. The Vietnam Memorial was erected in 1984 and the WWII one was even more recent.

        Certainly there was a racial element to all this, and again, I have no problem relegating those events to history books (so long as those books get read in school because it it history that needs to be learned to avoid repeating), but many Union monuments were erected during the same timeframe because that generation was getting old.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “but many Union monuments were erected during the same timeframe because that generation was getting old.”

          Yes, but haven’t you heard that the victorious get to write the history?… and build the monuments honoring the victorious

          However, I would be personally in favor of a Viet Nam type memorial honoring the Confederate fallen who had little choice in fighting for the politics of their leaders

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            This is true, I was simply pointing out that the timeline isn’t uncommon and wasn’t likely all about racisim

            And yeah, we have tons of monuments to wars we lost. Korea, Vietnam, etc. One day I’ll probably be an old man at some dedication for an Afghanistan/Iraq war lmonument, speaking of lost causes.

            Monuments are typically there to mark some sacrifice or event…not only victories. Given the nature of what the CSA was fighting over though, again I have no issue relegating most of that to history books.

            You are right about the victors writing history though. I went to Andersonville as part of my “staff ride” when I became a Warrant Officer (in the “Union” Army I suppose no less). Burried in the tour was the fact that it was in fact the second deadliest POW camp in the war. The deadliest place to be? The Union camp at El Mira, NY. Having been stationed up that way I assume most of those deaths were in the winter. Either way, first I’d heard of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Art, monuments honoring the fallen are always welcome, not so much the twisted ideals of their leaders

            I wonder if those of English decent would like a statue honoring King George in DC?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            That’s fair. I think monuments marking things like “A great battle that is historically significant to our nation” happened here are appropriate. A bust of Jefferson Davis, probably not.

            You sort of have to look at them without making sweeping generalizations. There was one in Charleston, SC for example…I think it was a bust with “Simms” under it (I assume his name). I don’t know his politics but he was memorialized therre for authoring a book titled something akin to “Atrocities Committed by Union Forces ocupying Charleston SC”).

            Many of these monuments should be removed, but some of these folks are plowing ahead blindly defacing monuments to African American Union Soldiers for example. That sort of stupidity is dangerous and idiotic.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Stupidity is ALWAYS dangerous and idiotic. In many cases it’s how wars start

            99 Red Balloons

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @Lie2me:
            “Yes, but haven’t you heard that the victorious get to write the history?… and build the monuments honoring the victorious”

            One of the things that complicated this during Reconstruction is that the victors needed the former-rebels to become Americans again.

            Look at the painting of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse with this in mind:
            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Appomattox_Court_House

            You can be sure that the scene didn’t look so dignified. Half a million Americans had just been killed, and the war had been won by sending wave after wave of men and material from northern cities South. But, these paintings are how the victors decided to play it — so that the former confederate soldiers would go back to all their old jobs and farms and at least go through the motions of being Americans again.

            Those paintings of men shaking hands like this was all a little misunderstanding among gentlemen (with a half a million dead and Sherman’s scorched earth campaign a fresh memory) look like propaganda to me. The propaganda sorta worked, too, but we’re still dealing with the consequences.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Here’s a modest proposal for cities that want to finally get rid of these stupid confederate (lowercase on purpose) statues:

      Announce that they will be taking the statue of (insert name of confederate s*ithead here) in two weeks and give anyone who wants it the chance to haul it away on his own dime. Offer police protection the day the statue comes down so that the people taking it down don’t get assaulted (as much as they probably deserve poo flinged at them). If no one steps up, then the statue comes down. Simple as that.

      Why give people the chance to take possession of the statue? Simple: the tiki-torch types who would want to actually do that CRAVE their “victimized” status. Giving them a chance to haul the thing off means their precious right to be a racist, confederate-apologist twit is fully preserved. For all I care, those dolts can do a GoFundMe and open a confederate sculpture garden somewhere.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    Obviously this is another part of the bureaucratic approach to making everyone, like, you know, real sensitive. Everyone these days has to carefully watch what they say or do to keep someone from screaming “OFFENSIVE.”

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      its 1984 all over again. written in 1947, comrade.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Bringing up the worst thing that happened to a man’s great great granddaddy does tend to make people mad.

      Some men’s great great grandaddies were slaves. My great great grandaddy was a blacksmith.

      I can easily understand why casually bringing the emotional baggage of centuries of enslavement and oppression into a conversation would (and should) make a man mad.

      This isn’t about how “sensitive” someone is, it’s about how bad enslavement is, and how bad the things that followed it are. Any normal person can and should be angry about this stuff, even generations later.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        @Luke42

        I think most reasonable people can agree enslavement of any sorts is bad. However, all this does is put folks in a defensive position for something that they had zero to do with. People have been in longterm relationships an know what happens when some grievance from some time in the past is brought up in some current argument. It just doesn’t end well. It allows one side to use it as an excuse for the things they do or don’t do, and it puts the other side on the defensive.

        I grew up in Florida and now live in Alabama and I still don’t get really either side of this Confederate flag deal.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        We have heard many times about how bad the slaves’ conditions were, but I don’t recall ever hearing about what the ex-slaves’ conditions were like in the US after the emancipation. It must have been out of the frying pan and into the fire. I can’t imagine any provisions (shelter, food, etc.) were made for them; I assume they were just booted off the plantation with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and no experience of how to live in the outside world, etc. But, no one ever seems to mention this.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          @Old_WRX, some of them got their old jobs back, so to speak, at whatever compensation the economy could afford in a situation where the supply of labor was high but the regional economy was destroyed… sorta how sharecropping got started. Again, momentarily putting the morality question, in this was a pretty natural and obvious next step if you think of it in terms of economics theory.


          Regarding the statues across the land, my present sentiment is that there have been decades of opportunity to figure out how to move these into museums, starting with the ones at particularly sore locations (i.e. the sites of former slave markets). But it seems like the clock has finally run out. Tough luck, statue supporters.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “But, no one ever seems to mention this.”

          That sounds like some sort of apologist rationale in favour of slavery.

          The whole “too sensitive” argument is stupid. Ever hear of PTSD? No one seems to bring that up when Jews cringe at the sight of Swastika’s et al.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @Old_wrx:
          “We have heard many times about how bad the slaves’ conditions were, but I don’t recall ever hearing about what the ex-slaves’ conditions were like in the US after the emancipation.”

          That history is there. I’ve read some of it. It’s long, complicated, and will make you mad without providing any closure. But, it’s there for anyone who wants to dig in to the era of Reconstruction and the early 20th century in the south.

          That era was just as complicated as the present, so how that era looks depends on who you’re interested in. For instance, college students in 1867 got off to a pretty good start in an optimistic time. Those slaves who got their old jobs back (as sharecroppers) so. A lot of former slaves GTFOd to northern cities (“the great migration”), and helped to build cities like Chicago. The Chicago Blues sound probably wouldn’t exist without The Great Migration — you can even her B.B. King tell his small part of that story on tape (along with some killer Blues guitar). Of course, it wasn’t all Blues & BBQ — Chicago has a full dose of racial politics, Redlining, White Flight, etc — it’s not exactly a happy ending.

          There’s a lot to unpack! Each thing I mentioned could be its own full-length book. I’m just listing off the keywords so that those who are interested can find out more.

          P.S. I’m not a historian, I just remember a lot of what I read. I grew up in one of the major battleground-regions of the Civil War, and I now live near I-57, which was built between Chicago and the Gulf Coast (aka the deep south). There are little reminders of all of this history all over the place.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      You sound offended.

      And nobody forced you to look at statues dedicated to those who fought to keep your ancestors enslaved.

      I just don’t get these conservative snowflakes…

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    If people are truly sensitive to others’ feelings it comes from the heart, not a bunch of rules. Sensitivity and morality cannot be legislated; attempting to is madness.

  • avatar

    ““No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” he told the media.

    Says a racer with a livery that promotes an anti-family, anti-capitalism movement.

    “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure”

    “We are anti-capitalist. We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.”

    https://www.theradiancefoundation.org/blm/

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over,” he wrote on social media. “I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another and I ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”

    NASCAR’s direct response to that was, “So long. We won’t be missing you!”
    That driver and his team was not a very potent or even visible team on the circuit, from what I’ve read. They were probably spending more money than they were earning, just trying to stay in the running.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Know who’s never won a race? Ray Ciccarelli

      Know who’s never won a war? The Confederacy

      Seems appropriate

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        I’m sure there were a number of Ciccarellis who fought for the confederacy. /s

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          That would be interesting to research as to how many Italian-Americans fought for the Confederacy

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            Since peak Italian immigration was from the 1880’s to the 1920’s probably very few. What’s interesting is around 20-30% of them went back to Southern Italy. For many Sicily was just a better deal or they took their American earnings home.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Amerigo Vespucci and Cristoforo Colombo did not make it to the Civil war and rest of Italians came way later. So answer is, occasional Italian might fought in the American civil war

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            But since you care about Putin so much, might be useful for you to learn that Union army brigadier general John Basil Turchin was in fact Ivan Vasilyevich Turchaninov, a Russian Cossack and officer of Russian army.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I thought there had already been a ban in place. I can’t remember the last time I saw a stars and bars flying at the track. Maybe it was an unwritten rule that they finally wrote down.

    I’ve been watching NASCAR my whole life and since I started in the 80s there has been a marked shift in how the sport itself wants to be perceived, if not the fans.
    However I would see the number of NASCAR fans complaining about the ban to be about representative of the US population as a whole who would consider it appropriate to display – which is to say, a small number who may be vocal in their opinions.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The idea that those who rage against peaceful protesters and riots are so often the same people who proudly display a symbol of armed rebellion and treason against the United States just breaks my brain.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s hard for people who have no concept or knowledge of history to begin to understand the meaning behind that flag

      They need a new flag that simply states, “Dumb and Proud of it”

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      While I have no problem with peaceful protests, when they riot they are people that are in the same group that are in a current armed rebellion and treason against the United States in WA.

      No, I don’t and never have displayed that flag.

  • avatar
    285exp

    I’m sure that between his calling for the Confederate flag to be banned and the Black Lives Matter paint job, Bubba is going to be a crowd favorite and generate lots of goodwill and new fans.

  • avatar
    punkairwaves

    One step forward: Banning the Confederate flag. Two steps back: Allowing the Black Lives Matter livery.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Regarding the rebel flag and how it doesn’t make sense to many TTAC readers why some people stubbornly keep continue to display it, just keep in mind that it’s a really big deal for human beings to shake off a belief system that was passed down to them from parents and elders. Many of them simply don’t understand why it’s hurtful or painful for some people to see. I mean they can understand it logically but they don’t understand it in their hearts. Seems like there are other examples of that kind of thing in human history. So yes, it seems incongruous and ridiculous for anyone to attach so much love to such an artifact, in this day and age, but it’s because they are conditioned to that and they are invested in it.

    I like to understand what makes people tick, whether I agree with them or not.

    And yeah, I think the Lost Cause is bizarre, 100+ years later. In modern day civil wars, I wonder if there are Sons and Daughters of ______ societies elsewhere in the world or if there will still be 155 years later.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      “but it’s because they are conditioned to that and they are invested in it.” An honest in depth assessment of how much of what people in general “know” comes from this conditioning and investing would blow most peoples minds. I have often seen statements of this sort used to “invalidate” other peoples’ points of view. As a rule the people using this method of “invalidation” are every bit as conditioned and invested as the people whose opinion(s) they are trying to refute are. As such this sort of argument is entirely specious.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        I hope I didn’t misunderstand you nor you misunderstand me. I can’t tell if you’re pushing back against what I wrote or if you’re building on it.

        Regardless, I’m not trying to justify any person or group’s choice nor apply moral relativism. I’m just merely offering one explanation of why it is that sometimes we come across another person who does something that leaves you confused and scratching your head really hard.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          OK, sorry if it seemed like I was pushing back. I misunderstood what you were trying to say. Thanks for the clarification.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Much of the myth of the Confederacy is due to revisionist history created after the Reconstruction and widely spread by Hollywood.

            The majority of troops in Confederate forces were not slave owners. But they supported the slave owners (to a degree) because the slave owners ‘played the race card’ creating a fear of freed African-Americans among the poor Caucasians.

            This very much continues to this day. In America the ruling elite continue to rule by pitting the working class against each other by sowing racial disharmony.

            Meanwhile those who owned 20 or more slaves were exempted from serving in the Confederate military. Others merely bought their way out.

            And desertion among Confederate troops was among the highest of any ‘modern’ army.

            Then there is historical revisionism. For example Governor Davis of Texas. A Texan who rejected secession and fought on the Union side. As Governor he appointed African Americans to roles such as law enforcement officers. He met with concerted opposition, and in response enacted laws restricting the freedom of the press and individual rights. His legacy is still widely debated in Texas.

  • avatar

    Who watches NASDAQ anyway.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I can feel the plight of the terminally oppressed improving already.

  • avatar

    Meantime warlords armed with assault guns are taking over Seattle. What is next in this black comedy show? Yes, yes, history repeats itself. Today as a farce.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You know, somewhere in that neighborhood are at least a few citizens that don’t at all agree with any of that and the government to which they pay taxes to has abandoned them. Protesting is fine. I really don’t have much issue with some.of the less peaceful stuff directed at police specifically given the circumstances.

      But there are Americans in these so called “Autonomous zones” that should be protected by their government. If the worst of these accounts are to be believed, I have no issue treating the instigators in the same manner as we did those that declared similar “autonomous zones” at Fort Sumter in 1861. If some entity took over my neighborhood and claimed authority I’d expect action up to and including rolling tanks in.

      • 0 avatar

        I reckon that if you live in Democrat controlled town or city – it is the time to buy gun. Or better move to suburbs. There are not enough loiters to take over suburbs. But that CHAZ will not last long, they all look like idiots. The real mob will take over to provide protection and rule of law, mob rule.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    It’s not “broadly” seen as “racist”. Just declared that by our thought elite.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      The standard you walk past is the standard you accept, and those who fly the flag of the Confederacy endorse the Confederate states’ belief that black people are inferior, and should be owned and traded like livestock.

      Any thinking person would find that to be distasteful, and would seek a symbol that better represented their humanity.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    “It’s about heritage”

    Well, it’s the flag that represents the 4 (FOUR) years of the South’s history when it was determined to break up the United States, going to war with it, and resulting in the deaths of about 750,000 soldiers.

    And those are the 4 years that define the South for you? That’s the essence of it? And you embrace the flag even though it represents the fight to own black people?

    Just be honest, because one of the few things worse than a racist is a racist coward.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    See the second table (“Wars ranked…”) here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

    The U.S. lost 1% of its population (25,000 – huge) in the American Revolutionary War. Compare this percentage to more ‘modern’ wars. Now take a look at the horrific percentage figure for the Civil War (regardless of whether you count US or CS or both).

    If you stood in my yard at the beginning of 1863, you would hear ~41,000 Federals and ~35,000 Confederates ripping each other to shreds (most effectively with rifled artillery) ending with around 25,000 fatalities [one battle]. Whether I go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, I drive right past/through the battlefield – so I think about this a lot.

    Slavery was wrong. Racism is wrong. Taking up arms seems like a less-than-optimal way of addressing things. From 1776 to 1865 was ~90 years; from 1865 to 2020 is ~155 years. It’s embarrassing that we still haven’t really dealt with the problem. (I’ve lived in the ‘South’ and I’ve lived in the ‘North’ and have seen racism both places.) And the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ are still at each others’ throats in many ways.

    Haven’t figured out the whole ‘war’ thing (war in general) either. The largest military installation in the world [by population] is named for the losing commander in the battle above – explain that one to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Toolguy. A nice analysis. Sometimes but very rarely a war is necessary, such as WW2 in Europe. Perhaps even the Cold War.

      More often it occurs due to competition for markets, miscalculation, ego, or the fact that when you provide a military with a new tool/piece of equipment they get tempted to see what it can do. Or it can be due to a failure in diplomacy with one or both leaders painting themselves into a corner and refusing to back down. Something that some commentators are concerned about.

      WW1 is an example of an unnecessary war that left nearly every participant worse off and destabilized most of the globe.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ToolGuy, great story and I can identify. My last house in Atlanta on the banks of the Chattahoochee was actually the site of a small battle where the Union army was able to breach a Confederate stronghold and cross the river as they marched into Atlanta. I actually had one of those bronze plaques in my front yard commemorating the event.

      How awesome I thought it was that a guy from suburban Chicago where absolutely nothing happened, EVER would be living on the site of an actual Civil War battle. I found it quite humbling

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Arthur, my grandfather was in WWI – am told he never talked about it.

        Lie2me, look up the “Chicago Board of Trade Battery” – they fought here.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Chicago had some history starting with Fort Dearborn, but where I grew-up in the burbs I doubt there was much more then a couple of angry cows mixing it up

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou_BC–Agree and the Confederate flag we know is just one of many types of Confederate flags. Being born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Houston, TX it was the Lone Star flag of Texas that I remember being proudly displayed more than the Confederate flag. Having ancestors that fought on both sides I have an appreciation of the history of both the North and South but the Confederate flag and Slavery should be put way in the past and not displayed. I am not a fan of NASCAR but I don’t hate it but I agree that the Confederate flag needs to be retired the South lost and the meaning has become a hateful symbol to most Blacks as the Swastika has become to most people of the Jewish faith and both should not be displayed in public. I am just old enough to remember segregated restrooms and water fountains and asking my parents and grandparents why they existed and I remember the Civil Rights Act. We need to move on and learn to respect each other.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Today it’s flags and statues that offend them. Tomorrow it will be your drawing breath that offends them.

    At 58 and nearly retired, I can’t really be cancelled, but I worry about my kids.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Who’s “them”?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “them”

      That’s the problem…… those who view this as me/us versus them.

      **WE**…. **WE**…. have to look at this collectively. What can **I** do to change how I act that affects others.

      Too many only see things from their own narrow views. Thinking “outside the box” is highly praised in the corporate world due to innovation. It should be highly praised in personal life. In personal life “thinking outside the box” is also known as “walking a mile in another-one’s shoes”. It is also called EMPATHY!

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I think there’s another important question that we, as car nuts, are forgetting to ask:

    When groups of people take it upon themselves to to dismantle statues as of late, are the tools, tackle, and equipment they’re using from Harbor Freight or are they using quality stuff?

  • avatar

    The problem will never be dealt with because any attempt to start addressing it always turns into riots, looting and violence. It will never be solved. MLK was the only chance and you missed it. There never be another MLK.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Since there is a tendency to rewrite history then it is only appropriate to use Harbor Freight tools. The Confederate statues and flags should come down. My concern is that we try to rewrite history to where we forget that this ever happened. I am also concerned that we will go too far with political correctness to where any word or action regardless of its intention is interpreted as offensive. Might be better to just stay away from people and not interact with others.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The Truth About Flags:
    • The “Stars and Bars” may not be what you think it is:
    – Some of the gory detail:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America
    – tl;dr Cliff’s notes video version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULBCuHIpNgU

    Compare Georgia’s current state flag.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Apparently the ‘Second Confederate Navy Jack’ (or ‘elongated version of the Battle Flag of the Army of Tennessee’ or ‘rebel flag’ or ‘Dixie flag’) made a comeback in 1948 (over 80 years after the Civil War) directly tied to segregationists. Ick.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat

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