Auto racing giant NASCAR said Wednesday that it is banning the display of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties.

The announcement is sure to be controversial with a number of NASCAR fans, some of whom continue to display Confederate flags and symbols at racing events even five years after the organization asked fans not to do so.

Also Wednesday, NASCAR removed its rule mandating that racing team members stand for the national anthem.

“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,” NASCAR said in a prepared statement that was issued before its race Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia

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