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NASCAR Prohibits Displaying Confederate Flag at Racing Events

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NASCAR is taking a stand against displaying the Confederate flag. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing announced Wednesday that the controversial symbol of the failed Southern secession movement has been banned from all future racing events and locations.

The move to ban the flag comes amid massive protests against systemic racism and widespread vocal demands for racial justice and equality in hundreds of cities across the nation.

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry," the company said in a statement released to ET on Wednesday. "Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special."

The company stated definitively that the "display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."

In recent days, NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace -- who is the only black driver at the top level in the sport -- has been leading the push to ban the flag from races.

"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace told CNN in an interview Monday. "There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying."

"It starts with Confederate flags," he added. "Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

NASCAR previously had what it described as "a longstanding policy to disallow the use of the Confederate flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity." However, it had yet to ban the flag's display outright.

Wallace is set to race Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, and he will be racing in a car featuring a Black Lives Matter color scheme and "#BlackLivesMatter" running along the rear quarter panels.

"I think by running this branding on our car, putting the hashtag out there, bringing more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos that we had put out as NASCAR," Wallace told CNN, adding that he hopes it will encourage "Listening and learning. Educating ourselves. So people will look up what this hashtag means. And hopefully get a better understanding."

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