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Country music venue in Scotland ends display of Confederate flag amid tensions

A county music venue in Scotland voted this week to end its controversial display of the Confederate flag.

The Grand Ole Opry in Glasgow previously would end evenings of live music with “a salute to the war’s dead” and a ceremonial folding of the Confederate flag, which to many is a symbol of white supremacy, The New York Times reported.

Members of the venue held a secret ballot vote that upholds the decision to ban the flag in a 50-48 vote. The flag has been displayed in the club since it opened in 1974.

Chris McDowell, the club secretary, said efforts to remove the flag had been ongoing for several years. Visitors have been unhappy seeing the flag on display, resulting in verbal incidents and event cancelations.

The National Threatre of Scotland in October said it canceled its booking with the venue because it would be “inappropriate and incentive” to their audiences, artists and workers.

Still, the club did not remove the flag. The ceremony in which the flag is shown by the performing act is intended to be a tribute to those who died during the civil war. The Confederate flag is banned in multiple U.S. states.

The club’s website said members had decided to use the flag “due to the fact that this part of America supplied us then, as now, with most of the trends that influence our music, dress, and dance.”

The group said the venue also hosts a salute to the Mexican flag, honoring those who died in the 1836 battle of the Alamo in Texas. Another salute sometimes performed is the Native American Trilogy, dedicated to the 5 million Native Americans who died at the hands of white men.

“Country and Western clubs have always been known for their generosity to charities and those less fortunate, as well as remembering the dead,” the website said.

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