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Cork GAA vow to have Confedera...
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Cork GAA vow to have Confederate flags confiscated

Cork GAA have taken the long-awaited step of banning the Confederate flag from their grounds. 

The flag has been a near constant presence at Cork hurling and football matches in recent decades.

The Confederate flag originally represented the Southern US states that seceded from the Union from 1860-61 and sparked the American Civil War.

The Confederacy - whose stance was based on their perceived right to continue with slavery - lost the war.

The controversy in its flying has become all the more pronounced in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In 2015, then ESPN contributor Professor Kevin P Blackistone told Off The Ball that "It's part of the ugliest heritage this country has ever had and it's been defeated".

Former Cork County Board chair Ger Lane condemned the flying of the Confederate flag at matches, but did not ban it outright.

His successor Tracey Kennedy has gone one further.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Kennedy said, "As far as I’m concerned, the Confederate flag is banned.

"Ger’s statement in 2017 was very clear when he asked our supporters not to bring the flag to our grounds, not to use the flag, so as far as I’m concerned, it is banned.

"I’m happy to make that position explicit and say it’s banned from our grounds. It has no place in our grounds or in supporting Cork teams. We’re a community association and every part of the community is welcome in the GAA."

Earlier this week, the Southern-dominated sport of NASCAR in the United States banned the display of the flag.

In a statement, they said: "The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry."

Kennedy says stewards at Pairc Uí Chaoimh will confiscate the flag if it's being carried prior to entry, and they will also confiscate it if found flying inside.

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