On Sunday, a "Defund NASCAR" banner was flown over Talladega Superspeedway. Now a Columbia, Tennessee-based group, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is taking responsibility for hiring a small airplane to fly the message over the track prior to the GEICO 500.
This comes after NASCAR ended up banning Confederate flags at race tracks following Bubba Wallace asking them to do so in the midst of protests and demonstrations around the country centered around racial injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
"NASCAR's banning the display of the Confederate battle flag by its fans is nothing less than trampling upon Southerners' First Amendment Right of free expression," Sons of Confederate Veterans commander in chief Paul C. Gramling Jr. said. "This un-American act shall not go unchallenged. [On Sunday], members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Confederate Air Force displayed its disapproval of NASCAR's trampling upon the First Amendment Rights of Southerners. During and before the start of the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama, race, our plane flew a banner announcing a drive to 'defund NASCAR.'
"It is the hope of the Sons of Confederate Veterans that NASCAR fans will be allowed the fundamental American right of displaying pride in their family and heritage. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is proud of the diversity of the Confederate military and our modern Southland. We believe NASCAR's slandering of our Southern heritage only further divides our nation."
NASCAR did not acknowledge the banner during their broadcast on Sunday.
Spectators that attended the GEICO 500 were not allowed to bring Confederate flags inside of Talladega Superspeedway. There were signs prohibiting Confederate items at the entrances to the track.