The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has extended its ban on use of the Confederate flag. FOrmerly, the organization had declared that it would not allow NCAA Basketball Tournament games to be held in states that posted the flag officially at any state or government (local, state, or federal) owned facility.
The new law will forbid the use of the flag at any cemetary, school, t-shirt, bumper sticker, back-pack, jeans-patch, bandana, license plate, vanity plate, Christmas tree ornament, tattoo, or jewelry owned, worn by, or used by any player, student, potential student, or fan at any facility in any state where there is an NCAA participant university.
The flag was the official flag of The Confederate States of America and is often called "The Stars and Bars" and "The COnfederate Battle Flag." It was used by the Confederacy in the Civil War of 1861 through 1865. Upon the defeat of the South, and their return to the United States, the flag had no more usage.
In addition to banning the flag in all forms, they are also outlawing the song "Dixie" and all references to Rebels, the rebel yell, blue-bellies, and the Klan. Any team that has this as any form of their name will be required to change it within six months, or be banned from any NCAA participation. Unlike their policy with Native Americans, this will stand even if the use of the name is approved by CSA groups (Sons of the South, Daughters of the CSA, the Ku Klux Klan, The Ssuthern Baptist Convention, etc.).
The NCAA feels that the flag is a symbol of racism (the South supported slavery) and should not be used anymore, anywhere. This includes such places as cemetaries where former confederate soldiers (who died fighting under that flag) are buried. When asked why a Japanese flag was allowed to fly over the Japanese part of a WWII cemetary in Hawaii, but a Confederate flag could not fly over a confederate cemetary in Arkansas (or Virgina, Kentucky, or any other state), the NCAA had no answer.
Theor ban also includes such parks as Six Flags Over Texas (the flag was one of the six to fly over the state). Apparerently, by NCAA logic, it is okay for the park to continue to display the flags of Spain, France, The Republic of Texas, The United States, and Mexico (even though all of those countries allowed slavery at one time).
When all universities in the South (which includes such major conferences as the SEC, parts of C-USA, the ACC, the Big East, and the Big 12) heard the announcement, they decided to form their own athletic sponsorship organization.
To stop this, President Bush quickly ordered National Guard and troops into Richmond, Virginia (former Confederate capitol). This did no good as the schools were meeting in Atlanta, site of the current NCAA final four. Bush vowed to keep the NCAA together and said that unifying the nation under the theory of bracketology and the BCS champtionship series would be his legacy.
In a related story, the Hell's Angels motorcycle group and Harley Davidson motorcycles have changed their logos to the old Confederate Battle Flag. It has also been adopted as the official "second state" flag of sixteen southern states.