Daytona International Speedway to offer Confederate flag exchange

Tuesday June 30th, 2015

Daytona International Speedway officials are planning a Confederate flag exchange ahead of this weekend's Subway Firecracker 250 and Coke Zero 400 races, according to NBC Sports.

Fans can exchange a Confederate flag (or any other flag type) for an American flag to wave at the races, which will take place over the Fourth of July weekend.

"The goal of any NASCAR event, specifically Daytona, we want to be inclusive to everyone," said speedway president Joe Chitwood, according to WOFL-TV in Orlando, Fla.

"The last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and not enjoy that experience because of symbols that represent things that we're not proud of."

The exchange does not signal a ban from Daytona International Speedway property as fans with the Confederate flag or symbols will not be stopped.

• NASCAR chairman wants Confederate flag eliminated at races

The implementation of the exchange comes just two weeks after a June 17 shooting in a Charleston, S.C.-church left nine African-Americans dead. 

Recently uncovered images of shooting suspect Dylann Roof, who was arrested and charged with nine counts of murder, show him posing with the Confederate flag. 

NASCAR on Saturday supported South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call to remove the Confederate flag from the state's capitol grounds. CEO Brian France called the flag an "offensive and divisive symbol."

Two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. told the Associated Press that he believed the flag was "offensive to an entire race," and that it, "belongs in the history books and that's about it."

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