Confederate flag sales prompt boycott at Lorain County Fair

County democrats are skipping the fair this week
Posted at 10:32 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 00:00:55-04

A decision to allow the sale of Confederate battle flags at the Lorain County Fair has the county’s democratic party boycotting.

Lorain County Democratic Party Chairman Tony Giardini said they would not set up a booth this year like they have done in previous years, specifically citing a decision by the fair’s executive board to allow the controversial flag. In contrast, the Ohio State Fair forbids Confederate flag sales.

The fair kicked off on Monday and runs through the weekend. Russell Bissett is selling a variety of Confederate battle flags alongside license plates, key chains and sports memorabilia.

“It’s part of our history! You can’t take away history,” Bissett said. "It’s just heritage. I mean it’s part of our heritage. It’s part of The Civil War.”

But it’s a part of The Civil War opponents would be happy to leave behind.

“It bothers me though. It shouldn’t be here,” Mike Carswell, said.

The African-American man, who was born in Georgia, grew up in Lorain County. Carswell said those stars and bars epitomize hate.

“A lot of people say it represents the south,” he said, “But I’m from the south and it doesn’t represent me.”

Bissett said he would have considered doing business without selling the flag, if the fair’s executive board forbade it, but they didn’t, so he said he will keep selling it.

"I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” he said.


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