It’s ‘a NASCAR thing’: Confederate flags fly high as Daytona fans DEFY unofficial ‘ban’


It doesn’t take much of an imagination to think that race fans prone to fly the rebel battle flag, well… rebelled.

Amid all the hoopla over NASCAR requesting fans not to display the Confederate flag at its races, it was easy to spot the flags at Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona International Speedway.

Easier than finding a souvenir shop, restroom or beer stand, according to The Associated Press, which reported that dozens of flags could be seen throughout the infield.

Some fans were defiant in support of their right to fly the flag.

”They’d have to come and get it,” said Steven Rebenstorf, who displayed the Confederate flag atop his tent canopy inside the racetrack.

Image source: Jerry Markland/Getty Images

NASCAR had asked fans not to fly the now-controversial banner, and even offered to exchange Confederate flags for American flags at Sunday’s race, but The AP reported that there were few takers.

Other fans rejected the racist angle some attach to the flag.

“It’s just a Southern pride thing,” said Larry Reeves. “It’s nothing racist or anything. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. My family is from Alabama and we’ve been going to Talladega forever. It isn’t a Confederate thing so much as it is a NASCAR thing. That’s why I fly it.”

A quick scan of social media showed the Stars and Bars was indeed easy to spot in Daytona over the Fourth of July weekend, and that story turned out to be secondary to NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., winning the Coke Zero 400 amid a spectacular last lap crash.

As it should be.

Tom Tillison


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