NASCAR's decision from earlier this month to ban Confederate flags at all events drew widespread praise but also angered a contingent of fans.
The organization elected to prohibit the flag at future races at the behest of driver Bubba Wallace Jr., who is African-American. Wallace also unveiled "Black Lives Matter" messaging on his car earlier this month.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Wallace told CNN on June 8. “So it starts with confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
At today's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, at least one group of fans flew confederate flags at a tailgate across the street from the racetrack. There was also a protest involving the stars and bars in the sky above the race.
According to AL.com's Joseph Goodman, a small plane flew above Talladega while dragging an unfurled Confederate flag. Attached to it was a sign that read "Defund NASCAR."
Obviously this is a rather small-scale protest, but it likely won't be the last one we see at a NASCAR event involving the Confederate flag.
Today's race is the first event at which NASCAR is allowing fan attendance since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets were limited to 5,000 pre-selected fans.