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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Changing Flags

Mississippi flags
Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
College athletics is taking a stand against the Confederate flag. The NCAA Board of Governors said it would not host championship events where the flag “has a prominent presence.” That would primarily affect Mississippi, whose state flag features the 13 white stars and blue bars of the Confederate flag in the top left corner and is the only state that has yet to remove that imagery from its flag.

The NCAA’s condemnation came a day after the Southeastern Conference also called for Mississippi to change its state flag or risk losing conference championship events. The Confederate flag also made an appearance this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway despite being banned by NASCAR earlier this month – a plane flew over the track with the flag and a “Defund NASCAR” message.

Statues and Names 

The fight for racial equality and justice also continues to bring down statues. The Minnesota Twins removed a statue of former owner Calvin Griffith, whose legacy of overseeing the team’s move to Minneapolis has been tarnished by his previous racially-charged comments. At UNLV, students brought down the “Hey Reb!” statue. UNLV’s Rebel nickname has roots tied to the Confederacy.

Also renewed are discussions about changing racially-charged team names like the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins. One such name just recently under scrutiny: the Texas Rangers.

The team condemned racism and bigotry after a Chicago Tribune column called for a name change citing instances of racial violence by the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency. That critcism is also tied to the release of a recent book titled, Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers.

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