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Country band loses second gig over use of Confederate flag imagery

Country band loses second gig over use of Confederate flag imagery
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Southern rock group Confederate Railroad had a second gig canceled this summer because the use of the Confederate flag in its logo, USA Today reported Thursday.

The Atlanta-based band, which features a logo with a steam locomotive with Confederate flags, was slated to perform at the Ulster County Fair in New York's Hudson Valley on Aug. 1.

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Ulster County executive Pat Ryan announced the cancellation of that gig on Thursday.

"The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community," Ryan said in a prepared statement obtained by USA Today. "Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration."

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) earlier this month canceled Confederate Railroad's performance at the upcoming state fair, also citing the use of the flag.

Band frontman Danny Shirley defended the flag as representing history and Southern heritage.

"I've done nothing wrong," Shirley told USA Today on Thursday. "I love the part of the country I'm from, and I will never apologize for that."

The Confederate flag has come under increasing criticism as a racist emblem of slavery and segregation in recent years.

The pro-Confederate statue rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 reignited the national debate over the flag.

Since then dozens of U.S. cities have taken down or relocated Confederate statues and monuments.