Confederate Flag and 'Defund NASCAR' Sign Seen Flying Over Race Following Ban

Prior to a race on Sunday, a protestor apparently upset with NASCAR's ban on confederate flags flew a 'Defund NASCAR' sign over Talladega Superspeedway.

Confederate Flag protest at NASCAR race

Image via Getty/Marc Serota

Confederate Flag protest at NASCAR race

On Sunday, a protestor apparently upset with NASCAR's banishment of Confederate flags at their events flew (or paid for somebody to fly) a sign that said "DEFUND NASCAR" over Talladega Superspeedway. The flying of said flag occurred before the event was scheduled to begin. Accompanying that message, a play on rallying cries to "defund the police," was a massive flag representing the Confederacy:

Here is a view that shows where the Confederate flag is flying with the message “Defund NASCAR”

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 21, 2020

The flags were officially banned from NASCAR tracks and events on June 10. Obviously somebody found a way to get around this prior to the Geico 500 in Lincoln, Alabama on Sunday. Also worth noting is that flying a plane like this is not an entirely original workaround/tactic, as the uppermost image is from an event in 2007. 

According to reports, driver Bubba Wallace had pushed for the sport to get rid of the flags at NASCAR events. 

"It's been a long time coming for sure," he said two days after the ban went into effect, according to Bleacher Report. "And I know a lot of people are satisfied with the direction and the choices that NASCAR would make to change the image and move forward with the message that we're trying to push across these days."

NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell says NASCAR is still working on enforcement policies when it comes to its recent ban of Confederate flags on track property:

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 16, 2020

ESPN adds that more Confederate flags were displayed outside the raceway in what appears to be a larger protest, though they weren't seen inside. Whether that represents a success is probably in the eye of the beholder. NASCAR hasn't explained how exactly they plan to enforce their new ban, but at the time it sounds like a work in progress (again, the rule change was first announced 11 days ago):

On Sunday, NASCAR's Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell (seen addressing the edict in an interview above) took a swipe at the person behind the plane stunt by tweeting out that, "you won't see a photo of a jackass flying a flag over the track here." 

Sunday's race was actually the first one from NASCAR to have in-person fans since the widespread outbreak of COVID-19. Grandstands were reportedly open to about 5,000 attendees. However, the weather got in the way forcing a postponement. The race is now set to be run on Monday.

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