The Earnhardts’ Have Long Opposed ‘Stars and Bars’
One of the many questions to emerge after the tragic shooting in Charleston last week is what place, if any, does the Confederate Flag have in our society? The flag is affixed at the South Carolina capitol, and there has since been a call to remove it, including past supporters such as governor Nikki Haley and senator and presidential candidate Lindsay Graham.
NASCAR also came out yesterday to reiterate its stance:
“As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation’s embrace of those impacted. NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday. As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity. While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.”
(Keep in mind this has always been their stance for some time, they are just restating it)
NASCAR's official stance is a pretty sharp departure from its earlier days, like this 1976 Darlington program. pic.twitter.com/wQOUHMCajt
— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) June 23, 2015
NASCAR’s favorite family, the Earnhardts, have also been against the flag and its past symbolism.
Dale Earnhardt says he began to understand the power of the flag when their African-American housekeeper mentioned the offensiveness of such a symbol to him, and he removed it and was against its use up until his death in 2001.
His son Dale Jr. has also spoken on the flag on occasions, avoiding any major statements, saying he is afraid to upset the “rebels.”
The Confederate Flag isn’t going away anytime soon, but it is hard to see it remaining passively condoned on organizational level as it has been for so many years.