On the eve of a big holiday race weekend in Daytona Beach, David Childress was among those who ignored the call and packed a t-shirt festooned with the Civil War-era flag for his trip to the world-famous Florida racetrack.
The June 17 killings at a Charleston bible-study group have prompted politicians and businesses to try to banish the flag, widely viewed as a symbol of slavery, after photos of the white man charged in the shooting showed him posing with it.
NASCARâ€™s attempt to get rid of the flags comes at the same time the organization and Daytona track owner have been announcing major new corporate sponsors including General Motors, Fifth Third Bank, and Microsoft.
While some fans will take umbrage at not being able to wave their Confederate flags, "NASCAR has the opportunity to broaden its base a bit by being more family friendly and more up to date in the positioning of their product," he added, noting that it had struggled with declining TV ratings and empty seats in recent years.
GM didnâ€™t immediately respond to calls for comment, but Fifth Thirdâ€™s North Florida president and CEO Brian Lamb said in an emailed statement that the company did not support the use of the flag at the races.