Cease approving the sale of the Confederate flag at the Wayne County Fair, Ohio
Dear Mr. Reichert,
I am deeply dismayed at the Wayne County Fair Board's continued approval and support of the sale and/or display of the Confederate flag at this great summer event which is a tradition for our entire community. What I ask of you is very simple; please adopt a policy similar to the Ohio State Fair.
“The Ohio State Fair has long held a policy that prohibits the sale of merchandise that contains offensive wording, lettering or graphics. As such, beginning with the 2015 Ohio State Fair, the sale or display of Confederate flags and/or Confederate flag merchandise shall be prohibited. Any vendors found to be selling any items featuring the image of the Confederate flag will be asked to promptly remove those items.”
Since August of last year, in the aftermath of the shooting by White supremacist Dylann Roof on June 17, 2015 in the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina where nine black people were murdered, the Fair Minded Coalition of Wayne County, Ohio, led by the Wooster/Orrville NAACP, has been petitioning the Wayne County Fair Board to prohibit the sale and display of the Confederate flag to no avail.
Roof's unspeakable act has served as a wake-up call to people of conscience across our nation. It is no longer possible to maintain the fiction that the Confederate battle flag is simply an innocuous symbol of some nostalgic version of "Southern pride." In recent years, participation in White supremacist groups has risen sharply. ALL of these groups cherish and display the Confederate flag; ALL of them openly advocate racial discrimination; and some of them actively promote violence. Dylann Roof himself adopted it as his emblem.
We feel it is time to put this divisive symbol of hatred and racism behind us. In South Carolina and Mississippi, Republicans and Democrats agreed to remove the flag and its image from government institutions. Large corporations such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, eBay, and Sears are banning the sale of Confederate flag merchandise from all online and brick and mortar stores. Here in Ohio the flag has been banned from our State Fair, and now unfortunately, county fairs, including the Wayne County Fair, and small town festivals have become the last-stop shop for Confederate memorabilia.
It is time for us to stand together as a community, and for all those concerned, to uphold the welcome, family atmosphere, and diversity of Wayne County, Ohio and the Wayne County Fair. Please cease approving the sale or display of Confederate flags and/or Confederate flag merchandise by vendors at the Wayne County Fair as it has no place at a family and community event that is welcoming to ALL people.
- President of the Wayne County Fair Board
Mr. Don Reichert
Tell The Wayne County, Ohio Fair Board to cease approving the Confederate Flag
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