Presidential candidate Ben Carson, the only black person playing in the 2016 Republican presidential field, gave the nod for NASCAR fans to continue flying the contentious Confederate flag, the Associated Press reports.
Carson made the announcment Monday, which is the same day he snagged an informal endorsement from NASCAR racing icon Richard Petty. The two men appeared together at a camp for children with disabilities that is organized by Petty's foundation. And while Petty didn't explicitly say, "I endorse Ben Carson," he still said that he kind of was endorsing him.
"We're hoping he's endorsing the camp; we're not necessarily endorsing him, but we are—you know what I mean?" the living legend told AP in a brief interview. "He's very humane … that's one of his strong points as far as we're concerned."
As AP notes, Petty's informal support gives Carson a big boost in credibility in North Carolina and other Southern states. When asked about Petty's description of the flag debate as "a passing fancy," Carson remained reserved in his commentary, saying that individuals should continue flying the flag "if it's private property and that's what they want to do," the newswire notes.
The candidate did, however, acknowledge the flag as "a symbol of hate" for African Americans, before comparing it to the swastika.
"Swastikas are a symbol of hate for some people, too. And yet they still exist in museums and places like that," Carson said. "If it's a majority of people in that area who want it to fly, I certainly wouldn't take it down."
Read more at Yahoo! News.