Illinois Governor Reaps Backlash After Dumping Band From Fair Over Confederate Flag Images

(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker responded to the backlash created after he dumped a country band from the state fair over the group’s confederate flag images.

“The Confederate flag is a symbol of not just slavery, but of treason against the United States,” Pritzker told reporters about the decision to pull Confederate Railroad from the Du Quoin State Fair, per the Chicago Sun-Times in a piece published Wednesday. (RELATED: UNC Chapel Hill Suggests Moving Toppled Confederate Statue Inside Campus Building)

“That’s what happened under the banner of the Confederate flag many years ago in this country,” he added.  “It is today the symbol of racists, of white nationalists, of the alt-right and so I do not think that the state of Illinois should be sponsoring something that is amplifying that symbol.” (RELATED: Hospital Worker Fired After He Was Spotted At Polls Sporting Confederate Flag With Noose)

When asked about performer Snoop Dogg still being on the line-up at the state fair in Springfield and the rapper’s use of imagery that has also been controversial, Pritzker said it wasn’t the same. On Snoop’s latest album titled, “Make America Crip Again,” there is an image of the rapper standing next to a cartoon body corpse with a toe-tag that reads “Trump.”

“There is an enormous difference between the political satire, the discussion by a single artist, his political views, and the representation of truly millions of people being enslaved, hundreds of thousands of people being killed under the banner of treason, essentially,” Pritzker shared, per KMOX Radio.

“There’s a big difference between what I just described and the hundreds of thousands of people [who] died; millions, in fact tens of millions of people, were enslaved,” he added. “We’re talking about a history, a terrible history in the United States. Death and destruction that took place under that flag — and on the other side, political satire.”

The band, formed in 1987, features a logo that includes a steam engine with Confederate Flags, per the Associated Press.

The logo for the Grammy-nominated band, known for acoustic ballads such as “Jesus and Mama” as well as its raucous anthem, “Trashy Women,” features a steam engine from which waves dual Confederate Navy Jacks, whose stars and bars are the most widely recognized symbol of the Confederacy. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, the group said being removed from the show was “very disappointing.

“We have since been removed from that show by the Illinois Department of Agriculture because of the name of our band,” the band’s statement read in part. “This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much. The outpouring of support from Confederate Railroad fans, fans of other acts, and the public in general, has been both overwhelming and very much appreciated.”

“Confederate Railroad Releases Statement on Illinois State Fair Concert Cancellation,” the official account for the band’s Twitter account read.