No “Southern pride” or sedition here. The CMA Festival has announced that Confederate flags will officially be banned from the annual event, which is scheduled to take place in Nashville next week.
The new rule is noted by event organizers on the festival’s official website, with “Confederate flag imagery of any kind” listed among other objects prohibited on festival grounds including bikes, drones, fireworks, and drug paraphernalia. The news was first reported by Variety.
“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years,” the Country Music Association said in a statement. “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.”
The statement continued: “In line with our first CMA Fest lineup announcement in early April, our event policy was published on our website, which states any behavior 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.”
Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, and Keith Urban are among the superstar headliners taking the stage from June 9th to 14th. The CMA Festival is the second country music event to outright ban the Confederate flag following Stagecoach adopting the same rule for its 2022 iteration back at the end of April.