Illinois governor cancels band's state fair appearance over Confederate flag use

Illinois governor cancels band's state fair appearance over Confederate flag use
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has canceled Southern rock group Confederate Railroad’s upcoming state fair performance over its use of the Confederate flag, The Associated Press reports.

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The band, which formed in Atlanta in 1987 and features a logo with a steam locomotive with Confederate flags, was slated to perform at the Do Quoin State Fair on Aug. 27, but a spokeswoman for the governor said Tuesday that the administration bars using state resources to “promote symbols of racism,” the AP reports.

The fairgrounds are owned and operated by the state, Yahoo News reported.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Confederate Railroad called the decision “disappointing.”

 

Dozens took to social media to speak against the band’s removal.

 

A Facebook group created in response to the band’s removal from the lineup, named #BoycottDuQuoinStateFair, quickly gathered nearly 2,800 members.

Country music legend Charlie Daniels tweeted that “this political correctness thing is totally out of control.” “When a fair cancels the Confederate Railroad band because of their name its giving in to facism, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece,” he wrote. “Sick of it.”

 

Joe Bonsall, a member of the Oak Ridge Boys, tweeted that canceling the band is a “crock of crap.”

 

The removal comes after blogger Rich Hill last month asked readers on his site, Capital Fax, whether they thought the band was an appropriate choice to feature in the fair’s lineup.

“A band named Confederate Railroad. In Illinois. The Land of Lincoln. Playing at a state-owned facility,” his post says. “I’ve never heard anyone claim that the group has Confederacy-loving song lyrics or anything. It’s just ... well ... Allow me to turn this one over to you ...”

The controversy comes amid intense national scrutiny over the public use of the Confederate flag and symbols of the Confederacy that was reignited by a pro-Confederate statue rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.

In recent years, more than 30 U.S. cities have taken down or relocated Confederate statues and monuments.