CMA Festival bans confederate flags

"Any behaviour that causes one of our attendees to fear for their personal safety will not be tolerated"

The Country Music Association (CMA) Festival edition for 2022 is banning confederate flags.

Organisers announced the rule on the festival website, writing that “Confederate flag imagery of any kind” is banned alongside other prohibited items including bikes, drones, fireworks and drug paraphernalia.

The CMA Festival returns to Nashville, Tennessee this Thursday (June 9) and runs until next Tuesday (June 14).

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“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years,” the CMA said in a statement [via Consequence Of Sound]. “We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated.

“In line with our first CMA Fest lineup announcement in early April, our event policy was published on our website, which states any behaviour that causes one of our attendees to fear for their personal safety will not be tolerated, and that is inclusive of any displays of the Confederate flag.”

Country star Morgan Wallen performs live at the 2020 CMA Awards. CREDIT: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMA

Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, and Keith Urban are among the headliners at this year’s event.

The CMA Festival is the second country music event to outright ban the Confederate flag after Stagecoach adopted the same rule for its 2022 event at the end of April.

Stagecoach, which was held at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Club, was headlined by Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs.

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Last year, Combs apologised for appearing in a music video that used Confederate flag imagery. “There is no excuse for those images,” he said during a panel discussion with Maren Morris during Country Radio Seminar.

“It’s not OK,” he added. “I am now aware how painful that image can be to someone else. No matter what I thought at the time, I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”

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