Yada yada yada.
Which brings us to this update from the Chronicle-Telegram.
Joe Maybaugh, a Wellington area man (Wellington being a city in Ohio), is a strong supporter of the Confederate flag and didn't know that there was so much opposition to it until the Lorain County Democrats got the conversation started.
Maybaugh said he felt that in the days following [Lorain County Commissioner} Lundy’s words, the general public was only hearing one side of the story.
“That’s what prompted me to come forward,” he said.
Come forward he did. He organized a run of sorts for other Confederate flag supporters, basically driving around the fair with the flag. About 50 people showed up, according to the newspaper's account. He also created the Lorain County Ohio Confederate Support Group. Here is the "about" section from the page:
Elaborating on that eloquent mission statement, he told the paper:
“It’s not about racism. Not one little bit,” Maybaugh said, adding that he believes the flag is a sign of free speech and, “people standing behind what they believe in.”
The people who flew the flag believed in slavery. It's really as simple as that. But anyway...
The Lorain County Confederate Support Group (whose very name implies that some culturally productive and important part of Southern culture, if not the entire South altogether, is somehow in danger; more on that thread and Donald Trump in this amazing New Yorker piece) isn't alone in Northeast Ohio. We ran down the "super strong" support for the flag around NEO and its supporters various defenses for veiled racism here, including it being "not racist at all," "just another red, white and blue flag," a "military thing," and about "heritage not hate."
Maybaugh echoed many of those talking points in a FB post the day before the article:
The Chronicle Telegram is doing an article in tomorrows paper about this page and the events that took place during fair week such as the flag run. I expressed to them that its not about racism. Everyone has the freedom to believe whatever they want. Do some view it as racist yes, but many also view the American flag as racist, slavery was legal under the American flag for 76 years, and slavery was legal under the confederate flag for 4, its wrong that the county commissioner is trying to take the rights away from people to sell the flag. Nobody has had any problem with the confederate flag being sold at the lorain county fair until south carolina made the decisions they made. Im very glad that The Chronicle Telegram is taking the time to hear our voice and our opinions on the matter. I only hope people will understand this is a free country with constitutional rights and that the confederate battle flag we fly has nothing to do with slavery or racism but a herritage that is supported by millions of Americans still today
This has been today's installment of "It's 2015, guys. Really?"