Considered one of the biggest country music festivals, the CMA added "Confederate flag imagery of any kind" to its list of items not allowed at the upcoming CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee.
The festival - which is four days long - is slated to run from Thursday, June 9 to Sunday, June 12, following its two-year postponement during the coronavirus pandemic, the association said online.
The CMA's decision to ban Confederate flag imagery was an updated section of the policy to safeguard fans, as outlined in a statement obtained by The Tennessean.
"This year's CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. 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 CMA said, in part, in the statement provided to the outlet.
Other organisations such as the Stagecoach Festival in California and NASCAR have also banned Confederate flags.
In a report from NPR, NASCAR driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace - the only African American racing in its top circuit - told the outlet that he was proud of the racing organisation for banning the symbol in June 2020.
"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags," he said before adding that there is "no place for them."
The CMA festival's decision to ban the flag of oppression comes amid multiple country stars being criticised for racially insensitive comments or appearances with the Confederate flag.
In early 2021, fellow country music artist Luke Combs apologised after appearing in photos with Confederate flags, as reported by the Associated Press.
Combs said the photos were taken when he was younger and unaware of the Confederate flag's message.
"And as I have grown in my time as an artist and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else," Combs said, according to the AP.
He also said that he "never" wants to be attached to something that can bring a lot of "hurt" to others.
Combs will be performing at the upcoming CMA Fest.
To view the full list of prohibited items for the event, click here.
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