Daytona offer: Turn in your offensive flag, fans

One of these will get you a nice, new proper flag at Daytona this weekend. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

One of these will get you a nice, new proper flag at Daytona this weekend. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

We’ve had gun exchange programs, cities trying to get weapons off the street by offering gift cards, money, tickets for gats. They have made not a dent.

We’ve had needle exchange programs, to get the dirty ones out of circulation.

Now the latest effort at cleaning up a societal sore, just in from the capital city of NASCAR racing, Daytona: A Confederate battle flag exchange program.

Honest. This is real, not an Onion parody.

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood announced Tuesday that the track, site of this weekend’s Coke Zero 400, will offer fans the chance to turn in their Confederate battle flags for nice, new U.S. flags.

Efforts to do something like that in 1861 met with stunning failure. Remains to be seen how that will play in more enlightened times.

Chitwood left open the possibility one day of banning the symbol from his property – try to imagine the difficulty of track police taking those down from campers or confiscating the “Forget Hell” t-shirt off a fan’s back. In the short term, in light of the tide of opposition to the Confederate flag after the Charleston shootings, there’s the offer of a civil exchange of one antiquated, divisive symbol for the one being honored on July 4th.

“For us, we’re celebrating the American flag this weekend,” Chitwood said Tuesday.

“Going forward, we’ll really have to look at where that other flag goes, because it doesn’t have a place in our sport and we’ve got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place.”

It’s just getting harder and harder to be an offensive anachronism.

 

Reader Comments 0

71 comments
UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

Who's a fan of Nascar any more?


Thumbs their nose at their most loyal fan base.


Schedules big races late on a Sunday evening after a Holiday.  Then decides to start it at nearly Midnite.


Brilliant.


Macon-Dawg
Macon-Dawg

What is the difference in a proud white southerner dispaying a flag and a baggy britches black boy walking down the street with his 05 FUBU shirt on?  For the uninformed FUBU is "For Us BY Us".  Who is the "us"?  Blacks of course.  So black segregation is OK as long as it is done by blacks?  You don't see WET (White Entertainment Television) but it is OK to have BET.  And, I am OK with BET.  Nothing wrong with blacks having programming that caters to their own interest. Nothing wrong with a black kid wearing a FUBU shirt either.  I am a 55 year old white southerner and proud of my heritige.  I have never owned a Conferderate flag in my life but NOW I am thinking of buying one. 7mm08 is correct.  The war NEVER was about slavery.  Lincoln introduced the idea to keep the British from joining sides with the South and whoopin' their Northern Agressive @$$e$.

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

NASCAR has been getting more and more politically correct for years.  They are doing their damndest to make sure they get minority drivers qualified to drive, then they so want women to drive...and now the flag issue.  Where will the PC stop?

Matt Houston
Matt Houston

I'm not from the south so that flag doesn't hold any meaning to me other than the Dukes of Hazzard. What I'm sick and tired of is everyone and every "group" being offended. If you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to like it. I'm too busy in my life working and paying taxes to care about a flag that is not our "Old Glory". I'm offended U.S. citizens burn the American flag but it's their right. I don't care if you are offended. Nobody cares if I'm offended. Why is it that liberals are all about freedom of speech and expression until it is something that they don't agree with. People need to get over themselves and get on with their life. It's a flag. Our country is too busy trying to please these so called "groups". Why? I don't care about your "group" and a lot of other people don't either.

7mm08
7mm08

Several hundred thousand men died for the cause of the south led by two our the greatest men in US history, S Jackson and RE LEE.  To desecrate the rebel flag would be saying they died in vain.  The War was not over slavery.....the Emacipation Proclamation only freed the southern slaves....just read it.  It was over the jealousy of the northern political leaders of the powers of the southern legislatures.  It was the north that cause the death and wounded of millions of men. Lincoln is the bloodiest of all Presidents.  Lincoln had spoken publica\ly to shipping the negroes away from the US.  Unfortunately, history has been revised or call a lie.

lostatsea
lostatsea

I'm for the boycott and a long one at that... a real long one. I mean how hard can it possibly be to stay in a left turn for 500 miles. Boring. waste of TV time.  

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

I am so sick of the term racist being misused. The only people who qualify imo are the nazis. Their plan of mass extermination proves that they thought of their victims as inherently inferior..

This idiot in Charleston for example, cannot qualify. He would have had to have been capable of a critical thought. It is obvious to me by the way he was living that he was a loser. Nothing but plain white trash. He had an insignificant existence, and he chose to lash out..

The Confederate population as a whole would not truly qualify either. Slaves were just a means to an economic end. They weren't fighting to spread it. They just didn't see how the federal government had a right to dictate how they made their living. This is why they called it "The war of NORTHERN AGGRESSION" Go on a farmers land today and try to take or outlaw his tractors. I bet he shoots you.

Bottom line. It was a different time. Slavery would have eventually ended on its own..The slaves could have been educated instead of being tossed into the vortex that was reconstruction. And every single black person with that heritage would be better off today.

DarianFisher
DarianFisher

Steve Hummer - How about you turn in your liberal ignorant bias against the flag.

Robert Raulerson
Robert Raulerson

NASCAR  sucks now ,its nothing like it used to be ,they don't have the caliber of the drivers they had back when petty ,yarbrough ,baker ,pierson ,the allison bros,and the list goes on,it's a bunch of crap and if they wanna disrespect my heritage they will lose my money and i won't watch anymore ,i'm tire of the PC crowd,now ya can't even watch the dukes of hazard and they wanna ban gone with the wind,are country is ruined ,they celebrate a queer rainbow flag and cos some punk GOES ON A RAMPAGE and misrepresents the flag  they wanna ban my culture and heritage that i am proud of screw them ,this is what you get with THE OBAMA CROWD. THEY WANNA WIPE OUT HISTORY.

Mutley
Mutley

NASCAR needs to relocate its headquarters to NEW YORK CITY to be among the rest of the liberal elites.

davesbrain
davesbrain

Maybe the confederate flag can take on a new meaning, aided by NASCAR -it can now represent a repudiation to the liberal elites who think they are smarter and better than the rest of us.  This utter arrogance by a private business to try to tell me what to think makes me want to go buy one, not turn one in.


And Steve H, you might think we live in more 'enlightened' times, but it's beginning to look to me like more dangerous, and authoritarian, times.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Since I don't follow NASCAR, is that the son of the famous stunt car driver, Joie Chitwood that is president of Daytona.  It couldn't be dad, he would be 90 years old by now.

Bald Knobber
Bald Knobber

Hey Shitwood, why don't you trade them for rainbow flags?

Brent22
Brent22

This will definitely work, remember the Chik-fil-a boycott. Oh, wait a minute.

rogarn7
rogarn7

There needs to be a 2 step approach. Step 1: Fill the seats at Daytona with people waving the Confederate flag, and watch NBC cameramen go crazy trying to keep them out of the shot. Step 2: Nobody attend the next race on the schedule. Send a message to NASCAR and the tracks if you want butts in the seats drop your irrational fears of the rebel flag.

RexHavoc
RexHavoc

As a long time white Georgian, I have never owned anything with the confederate flag on it.  I don't wish to offend people who (for a very good reason) see the flag as a symbol of anti-black/Catholic/Jewish hatred.  However, to many of those who DO fly it, I think it simply means "don't push me too far".  It seems that a lot of people are starting to push on both sides of the debate.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

@RexHavoc  Don't remember the Civil War having a chapter on the anti Catholic/Jewish crowd.  Was that the battle of Genuflection Hill near Steinberg Mountain?

58Supersports
58Supersports

@RexHavoc What has it got to do with Catholic and Jewish hate?  The don't push me part I agree with...and the pushing has started.

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

Well you've just guaranteed that twice the number of confederate flags will now fly at the race than before.

jbzm
jbzm

This is the reason NASCAR lost me as a fan four years ago.  The sport was built on the backs and money of the southern redneck.


NASCAR is now trying to attract the part of society which is still a slave, a slave to the government (the government feeds them, clothes them, and provides shelter for them.  The government is their daddy).  NASCAR would have to start a program witch gives tickets away so this group might come watch because they only want things given to them. 


Now NASCAR must have a desire to attract the group of people who flies rainbow flags.  Let's see how that will work for them.  Can you imagine one of those flag flyers sashaying up to one of those southern rednecks.  That would be a scene worth watching. 


This sport has been suffering for the past several years because they have gone away from their original fan base and it is now working well for them  They have removed seats in just about every track because they CANNOT sale tickets.


Every southern redneck should boycott Daytona this weekend and hit Mr. Chitwood where it hurts, in his pocket book.

Mustang100
Mustang100

Another male afraid to be a man.

scottw_
scottw_

I'm calling for a boycott against NASCAR by the supporters who built the sport until they stop the ridiculous and insulting flag exchange program.

McNasty - Dead or Alive
McNasty - Dead or Alive

As typical of racists and gun nuts they don't see anything but some phony "right". A private property owner CAN restrict racist symbols from their property.  

Maybe the reason NASCAR is experiencing diminished  or stagnant patronage is that they can't make any money on or grow a racist fanbase (not saying all fans are racist). I guess NASCAR  doesn't want to die off like you racists.

You don't see racist symbols (other than team logos) in the NFL, MLB or College Sports

McNasty - Dead or Alive
McNasty - Dead or Alive

@Gandolph @McNasty


So you are of the Lester Maddox kind that ran blacks off with the famous axe handle from his store because his business was private and he was racist, and much more sadly, Georgia's governor subsequently. You can legally refuse service (no shoes, no shirt, no service, no guns) but discrimination based on sex, race or religious basis is not legal. The baker and florist were not prosecuted by the government or sued privately to the best of my knowledge, so public ridicule for being a bigot is there only damage. 

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

@McNasty Apparently you've never heard of the Washington Redskins.

Gandolph
Gandolph

@McNasty Yeah, just ask the baker and florist about the private rights.

Termigator
Termigator

@McNasty you are quite correct that a property owner can restrict what goes on at his venue because it is his 1st Amendment right. It is also the ticket purchasers 1st amendment right to say WTF, I am sick of these apologists worrying about offending someone and decide to just stay home.

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

@McNasty  You know what the say...Delta is read when you are.  Concerning the South...like it or leave it. I'm sure we can get enough donations here to buy you a one way, first class ticket to San Francisco.

BertnErnie
BertnErnie

I think the King took the excitement with him when he retired... NASCAR hasn't been any good since ol' 43 rode off into the sunset.


You couldn't pay me to attend let alone tell me what to wear when I got there.

Darken-Rahl
Darken-Rahl

Well leave it to Nascar to join in with the "PC" crowd and try to walk all over one of our most sacred Constitutional rights, the right to free speech and expression. "So this is how freedom dies? to thunderous applause." They cannot ban fans from flying or wearing the Confedrate flag anymore than they can ban the American flag, they gay pride flag, etc. It's a protected Constitutional right and will only result in one massive law suit filed against Nascar that will eventually wind up at the SC and result in Nascar continuing to go the way of the Dodo.

Sam100
Sam100

"Tolerance - The intentional and principled refraining from interfering with another whom one opposes."


Amazing how quickly being tolerant of others has gone out of style. 

McNasty - Dead or Alive
McNasty - Dead or Alive

Steve 

Don't be afraid.. Just call it as it is. Lots of people call the flag divisive, but being divisive is just an effect of what it really is. It is a RACIST symbol! Look at all the comments here from tea party members.  They take pride in being racist.  They are proud of slavery, the KKK, anti semitism, anti catholicism and lynchings under the thinly veiled guise of "southern heritage". That is purely just evil. Not even serial killer' descendants are proud of their ancestors.

I guess their  "white supremacy ideology" justifies it. Thank God those republicans are the vast minority of white people. If you don't think they affiliate with the pachyderms just ask them. If they say they don't then they are even more socially , morally and politically fringe.


jbzm
jbzm

@McNasty 


Have you personally or do you know ANYONE who has been a slave in their life other than welfare recipients?  You do know welfare recipients are slaves to the government, don't you?

I don't think so. 


This flag is part of our southern heritage.  Just as blacks try to celebrate their African roots even though they have no clue where and if they came from Africa, we to celebrate our roots and heritage.  The flag means much more than slavery.


If I had a family member who was homosexual then I would not want to define their values or their lives by just being homosexual. I am not defined by being heterosexual because there is more to me than my sexuality.  


It is interesting how the left side always brings up KKK and such.  Yet the blacks can do and say anything they like.  ONLY IN MODERN AMERICA>


Dawggie
Dawggie

@Gandolph @McNasty  Umm, McNasty, back in the day, slaves did "Thank God" for Republicans, one of whom single-handedly ended slavery.  A GOP President named Lincoln.

I also bet you don't know the name of the former ARK governor who signed a bill protecting the confederate flag.  No, he wasn't a Republican.  He was a Democrat named Bill Clinton.

It's called US history.  You should learn about it sometime . . .

Golden_White
Golden_White

@McNasty One thing I learned about liberals a long time ago.

When they run out of argument, they start calling you names.

ElStinko
ElStinko

Stars & Bars for the Flag that would not let women & Blacks have equal rights?  How long before we change the American Flag and put a Watermelon & and Taco on it?

Gandolph
Gandolph

@ElStinko Can't do it.....even though it sounds like a good idea.....racist, you know.