Flag blanket

Numerous vendors sell confederate flag merchandise at the Athens County Fair, but some officials and local residents say it’s time the merch be banned.

Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Aug. 14 newspaper on Page A1.

Area residents have a lot to say about the topic of confederate merchandise being sold at the Athens County Fair.

The Messenger reported last week that city and county officials want the merch to be banned from future fairs. The fair board said mid-fair week it was too late to enact such a ban for 2019, but that members would discuss the topic later.

Messenger readers left hundreds of Facebook comments on the subject. Many supported the idea of a ban, citing the confederate flag’s controversial history and connection to the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Others defended the sales and modern displaying of confederate memorabilia as being a part of southern culture.

Here is a selection of reader comments:

  • Ryan Mills: “I’m not sure why anyone would want a flag that represents being a traitor to this country and if you use the excuse it’s heritage not hate ... Ohio was never a confederate state.”
  • Sandy Almond: “If ya don’t want, don’t buy it ... It’s that simple.”
  • Susan Neri: “That confederate flag means different things to different people. The civil war was faught [sic] over states’ rights to abolish federal laws. Slavery was just part of it.”
  • Debby Taylor: “The Confederate Flag has historical significance. This (politically correct) stuff has gone too far.”
  • Rachael Perry: “I pledge allegiance to the American flag. The (confederate) flag is treasonous.”
  • Joyce McNett: “OU community stomping out racism. Thank you county commissioners!”

What do you think about the issue? Write to us on Facebook, or send us a letter to the editor at 9300 Johnson Road, Athens OH 45701 or to info@athensmessenger.com.

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