Daytona Speedway won’t ban Confederate flag, offers fans alternative

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 06: David Ragan, driver of the #34 Farm Rich Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 06 2014: David Ragan, driver of the #34 Farm Rich Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Daytona International Speedway will not ban the Confederate flag from its property during this weekend’s NASCAR events. Track President Joie Chitwood told local press Tuesday that the Speedway will not ban the flag, but instead will offer fans an opportunity to exchange a Confederate flag for an American one. Chitwood said the goal is to be open and inclusive.

“We want to celebrate the American flag this weekend,” Chitwood told the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s the flag that we should be celebrating. We’re going to have flags available so if fans want to exchange whatever flags they have for an American flag, we want to make sure they wave our nation’s flag. It’s our nation’s birthday. We’re going to have military there. That’s going to be our goal.”

Last week a day after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol NASCAR restated its policy against displaying the flag and showed its support for the Governor’s position. The statements came less than a week after a 21-year-old white man gunned down nine people at a historic African American church in Charleston. MORE>>>

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