Confederate Railroad dropped from second state fair

Band dropped from Ulster County Fair in New York due to its name

An Upstate New York fair board has dropped Confederate Railroad from its lineup one week before their scheduled August 1st performance due to its name. Earlier this week, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan submitted a letter to organizers of next week’s Ulster County Fair to cancel the band’s performance due to the sensitivity of its name and the use of the Confederate flag.

Ryan submitted the letter to the Ulster County Agricultural Society, which puts on the annual fair, stating the license to use the county fairgrounds in New Paltz, NY prohibits the sale of merchandise with the Confederate flag on it. Ryan wrote that both the band’s name and its locomotive-draped Confederate flag logo are considered offensive, according to the Daily Freeman.

“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community,” Ryan says 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. Following the announcement on Thursday (July 25th), Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley tells the Seattle Times the name and logo reflect our nation’s southern heritage and shouldn’t be deemed offensive.

“I’ve done nothing wrong. I love the part of the country I’m from, and I will never apologize for that,” Shirley says. “It seems that everybody kind of gets looking for something to get upset about, and I guess I’m just the flavor of the month.”

Shirley says the band’s name was inspired by a locomotive commandeered in Georgia by a Union raiding party during the Civil War. The locomotive, known as the General, is on display in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Shirley lived when he got his record deal, the Seattle Times reports.

Earlier this month, the band made headlines after the Du Quoin State Fair in Southern Illinois dropped the band from its lineup due to “racial sensitivity concerns.” Shirley released a statement a few days later, saying they’ve played the Du Quoin State Fair in the past without any issues.

“We have since been removed from that show by the Illinois Department of Agriculture because of the name of our band,” frontman Danny Shirley shared at the time. “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.”

We have reached out directly to the band for comment, but they have no statement at this time. Fans are encouraged to watch their appearance on TBN’s Huckabee this Saturday, July 27th at 8 pm ET. Check local listings.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.