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After NASCAR ban, Confederate flag no longer welcome at Faster Horses

NASCAR's ban of the Confederate flag extends to all events at its venues, including three-day country music festival

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

When the Faster Horses country music festival returns next summer, don’t expect to see the Confederate flag on the fest grounds.

NASCAR’s recent ban of the Confederate flag extends to its venues — including Michigan International Speedway, Faster Horses’ Brooklyn, Michigan, host site — and all events held at those venues, NASCAR’s Midwest communications director Neal Gulkis confirmed this week.

Fans at the Faster Horses festival in Brooklyn, Michigan.

Faster Horses is produced by Live Nation, which rents the MIS site for the three-day camping festival. A spokesperson for Faster Horses said Friday that organizers had no statement when asked about the flag's ban. 

Country music has a long history with the Confederate flag, and the flag is a common sight at country music concerts and festivals.  

The flag’s contentious history has once again been in the news in recent weeks, as this month's Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of Confederate statues have brought up the flag’s past and its association with racism and oppression. Its proponents view it as a symbol of Southern heritage and pride.

Two days after NASCAR banned the flag at its events and properties, country music trio Lady Antebellum officially changed its name to Lady A, distancing itself from the Civil War imagery evoked by its name. Last week, Dixie Chicks dropped the “Dixie” from its name and will go forward as The Chicks.

This year’s eighth annual Faster Horses festival was held off due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has halted the concert industry. The fest is slated to return July 16-18, 2021, with this year’s announced lineup of performers — including headliners Jason Aldean, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett — intact.

Passes purchased for this year’s event will be valid at next summer’s festival.

agraham@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @grahamorama