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Country band Confederate Railroad nixed from another fair

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — The Southern country-rock group Confederate Railroad lost a second summer fair gig after objections to the use of the Confederate flag in its logo, which features a steam locomotive flying Confederate flags.

The band’s Aug. 1 date at the Ulster County Fair in New York’s Hudson Valley has been canceled, a spokesman for Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said Thursday. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this month canceled the band’s scheduled Aug. 27 appearance at a state fair in DuQuoin, Illionois.

“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community,” Ryan said in a prepared statement. “Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration.”

The flag has come under increasing criticism as a racist emblem of slavery and segregation. Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley on Thursday echoed supporters who say it represents history and Southern heritage.

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Shirley said by phone on the band’s tour bus. “I love the part of the country I’m from, and I will never apologize for that.”

Shirley said the band’s name was inspired by a steam locomotive called the General, which was commandeered in Georgia by a Union raiding party during the Civil War. The locomotive is on display in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Shirley lived when he got his record deal.

“It seems that everybody kind of gets looking for something to get upset about,” Shirley said. “And I guess I’m just the flavor of the month.”

The Grammy-nominated band is known for acoustic ballads such as “Jesus and Mama,” as well as its raucous anthem “Trashy Women.”

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