Upcoming Country Music Association Festival to Prohibit Confederate Flag

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: A man wears a jacket with the confederate flag displayed on it in front of Madison Square Garden, host to this years Country Music Association awards November 15, 2005 in New York City. The awards, which 37 million people tuned into last year, have been …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The upcoming Country Music Association (CMA) Festival will prohibit attendees from flying or displaying any paraphernalia depicting the Confederate flag.

The festival is set to take place in Nashville, Tennessee, next week from June 9-12, returning after a two-year hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the Huffington Post.

In a section of its website titled “Prohibited Items & Activities,” the CMA stated that “Confederate flag imagery of any kind” is among the “items [that] will NOT be permitted at any CMA Fest location.” 

In a statement provided to the Tennessean on Wednesday, the CMA explained its reasoning for the decision to ban the flag:

This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated[.]

In line with our first CMA Fest lineup announcement in early April, our event policy was published on our website, which states any behavior that causes one of our attendees to fear for their personal safety will not be tolerated, and that is inclusive of any displays of the Confederate flag.

The Huffington Post noted that the CMA’s statement “didn’t go into detail about safety issues concerning the flag.”

Country music star Luke Combs — who will be performing at the festival on June 11 — apologized last year for displaying the flag in past performances, saying, “There’s no excuse for those images.”

“And as I have grown in my time as an artist and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else,” Combs continued.

The CMA’s decision to prohibit the Confederate flag follows NASCAR’s move in June 2020 to ban the symbol from all races and facilities following the demands of driver Bubba Wallace and the tumultuous Black Lives Matter riots of that summer.

As Breitbart News reported in July 2020, a Morning Consult poll found that 43 percent of “American voters viewed the Confederate flag predominantly as a symbol of Southern pride,” including 73 percent of Republican voters.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman

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