Stagecoach, the California country music festival and sister event to Coachella, has banned Confederate flags from its 2022 event.

A section on the festival’s rules page lists things that are prohibited from being brought into the event, including “divisive symbols” such as “Confederate flags and racially disparaging or other inappropriate imagery/public displays”.

The 2022 Stagecoach Festival began yesterday (April 29) at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Club – the same venue as Coachella. Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs are this year’s headliners.

Last year, Combs apologised for appearing in a music video that used Confederate flag imagery. “There is no excuse for those images,” he said during a panel discussion with Maren Morris during Country Radio Seminar.

“It’s not OK,” he added. “I am now aware how painful that image can be to someone else. No matter what I thought at the time, I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”

A Confederate flag. CREDIT: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Morris, who performed at Stagecoach yesterday, criticised country music events organisers for allowing the Confederate flag on premises.

“At these country music festivals, I see the Confederate flags in the parking lots,” she said during her Country Radio Seminar chat. “I don’t want to play those festivals anymore. If you were a Black person, would you ever feel safe going to a show with those flying in the parking lot? No.

“I feel like the most powerful thing we can do as artists in our position right now is to make those demands of large organizations, festivals, promoters, whatnot. One of the things we can do is say, ‘No, I’m not doing this. Get rid of them….’ There’s no place for it anymore.”

In February, Stagecoach announced it was dropping all COVID-19 safety precautions ahead of its spring return.

Meanwhile, Maren Morris has shared a cover of Fiona Apple’s ‘Criminal’.

The country singer released her new album ‘Humble Quest’ last month, and to celebrate its arrival she put on a concert at New York City’s Sony Hall on March 26.

During her set, Morris performed a cover of Apple’s classic ‘Criminal’, taken from the singer-songwriter’s 1997 debut album, ‘Tidal’.

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