Confederate Railroad
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Confederate Railroad Removed From Another State Fair

For a second time this month, a fair cancelled an appearance by country-rock band Confederate Railroad.

This time around, the Ulster County Fair in New York's Hudson Valley dropped the band from its Aug. 1 lineup per the suggestion of County Executive Pat Ryan. Fair officials announced the cancellation on Thursday (July 25).

According to Kingston, N.Y. newspaper the Daily Freeman, Ryan based his opposition on the band's name and its use of Confederate flags in its logo.

"County resources should not be used to promote symbols of division or racism," Ryan's office told the Daily Freeman. "Many people view the Confederate flag as exactly this and would therefore not feel welcome at our county fair, a place where everyone should feel welcome."

The fair is organized by the county Agricultural Society. Its president, John Fitzpatrick, told the Daily Freeman that Confederate Railroad fit past fair standards for musical acts. "They were along the lines of bands that we've chosen before," he said. "When we made the decision, it was based on knowledge of the band itself."

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Right before the July 4 weekend, the country-rockers lost an Aug. 27 booking at a '90s Country Reloaded event in Du Quoin, Ill. after political website Capitol Fax questioned whether a band with "Confederate" in its name should be allowed to perform at a state-owned facility in "The Land of Lincoln." Ultimately, the Illinois Department of Agriculture dropped the band from a bill still featuring Shenandoah and Restless Heart.

"I've done nothing wrong," Shirley told the Associated Press in response the Ulster Country Fair cancellation. "I love the part of the country I'm from, and I will never apologize for that."

Shirley told the Chicago Sun Times the band takes its name from a steam locomotive called the General, which was commandeered in Georgia by Union troops during the Civil War.

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