Nearly two weeks after NASCAR announced its banning of the Confederate flag at all events and properties, fans flew the flag outside Talladega Superspeedway before Sunday's race, which was postponed to Monday due to rain.
Cars displayed the flag on the boulevard outside the track, according to ESPN, while a plane flew above pulling a banner of the Confederate flag that read "Defund NASCAR."
NASCAR finally made the decision to ban the flag from its events after driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR's top series, urged NASCAR to get "rid of all Confederate flags" in order to take the next step in the fight against racial injustice. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson also joined the cause, calling for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from its events.
"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," NASCAR wrote in a statement. "Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all events and properties."
On Friday, the NCAA announced it was expanding its Confederate flag policy to prevent any NCAA championship event from being played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence. This comes as the SEC calls for the state of Mississippi to change its flag, which prominently displays elements of the Confederate flag in its own ensign.
"It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all. In the event that there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the state flag is changed."
Monday's race will be NASCAR's first that allows fans in attendance, up to 50,000.