NASCAR issued a statement Tuesday supporting the newfound stance of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who called for the removal of the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina Capitol on Monday.
Haley made her remarks in the wake of last week's shooting at a Charleston church. Dylann Roof, 21, is accused of shooting nine members of the Emanuel Church. It's being investigated as a hate crime.
“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.”
Confederate flags flown in the infield from fans' vehicles is a common sight at many NASCAR races and given NASCAR's statement, will likely continue to be. South Carolina officials said Tuesday that citizens will be still be able to fly the flag at their residences.
NASCAR's policy of no official use of the Confederate flag hasn't been around for the entire existence of the sport. Take a look at this program from almost 40 years ago.
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
The Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway, one of the circuit's most historic tracks, on Sunday, Sept. 6.
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