CMA Fest: No Confederate flags; Alan Jackson pulls out

This year’s CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee will look a bit different — the Confederate flag has been banned and country legend Alan Jackson has pulled out.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the Country Music Association announced earlier this month they’d be prohibiting “Confederate flag imagery of any kind” during the CMA Fest, one of the largest country music festivals in the country.

The event is returning after being postponed for the past two years; it’s set to kick off June 9 and will run through the 12.

“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years,” the CMA said.

“We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated.”

“In line with our first CMA Fest lineup announcement in early April, our event policy was published on our website, which states any behavior that causes one of our attendees to fear for their personal safety will not be tolerated, and that is inclusive of any displays of the Confederate flag.”

The CMA is the latest organization with roots in the South to ban the flag.

NASCAR and the Stagecoach Festival for country music have also barred it.

In other news, country legend Alan Jackson announced last week he wouldn’t be performing at the festival.

He was scheduled to be taking the stage June 11. No reason was given for the cancellation, but the icon announced via Twitter noted he’d be taking to the road soon.

“Sorry I won’t be at CMA Fest this weekend, but I’ll see you on the road this summer and fall starting at the end of the month!” Jackson said.

However, last year, the “Chattahoochee” singer announced he was suffering from a degenerative nerve condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder.

“I’ve been reluctant to talk about this publicly and to my fans, but I have this neuropathy – a neurological disease that’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy,” Jackson said last September. “There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious.”

“It’s not going to kill me – it’s not deadly,” Jackson continued.

“I know I’m stumbling around onstage, and now I’m having a little trouble balancing even in front of a microphone. I’m just very uncomfortable. I was starting to get so self-conscious up there…so if anybody’s curious why I don’t walk right, that’s why. I just wanted the fans and the public to know. I don’t want ’em to think I’m drunk onstage because I’m having problems with mobility and balance.”

He had been scheduled to perform alongside Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood and others