Three Billboards in Lorain County Urge Ban on Confederate Flag Sales at Fair

Three Billboards in Lorain County Urge Ban on Confederate Flag Sales at Fair
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The battle against the sale of Confederate flags at the Lorain County Fair has heated up once again, as the Fair-minded Coalition of Lorain County with funding from the Lorain YWCA, has posted three billboards throughout the county encouraging the ending of sales. The three billboards can be seen on State Route 58 south of Russia Road, and State Routes 57 and 18.

Executive director of the Elyria and Lorain YWCAs, Jeanine Donaldson, told the Chronicle the total cost for the three billboards was $600.

Each billboard shares the same sentiment: “Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Keep Your Pledge! SAY NO to the Confederate Flag at the Lorain County Fair” with an image of the American flag waving on the left side.

The Ohio State Fair banned the sales of Confederate flags in 2015 calling it an "offensive symbol," but county fair boards of directors still have to choose whether or not the sales are permitted at their fairs.

In the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, planned protests at the 2017 Lorain County Fair were put on hold for fear of violence from those that support the flag.

Lorain County Fair president Ron Pickworth told the Chronicle he believes people should have the right to buy the Confederate flag if they wish, and having it sold at the county fair is allowed.

“Every organization can make their own decision,” he said. “It’s part of freedom of speech to let it continue to be sold."

County commissioner Matt Lundy disagreed  with Pickworth. “Citizens in our county continue to speak out against this divisive symbol that is embraced by hate groups,” Lundy told the Chronicle Friday night. “I support their concern. These citizens believe our county fair should follow the state’s lead. I agree. We need unity in this country, not division and hate.”

The Confederate flag, as we detailed in a 2015 feature, enjoys a mystifying popularity in Northeast Ohio.

The Fair-Minded Coalition will have a news conference 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ely Square to announce its activities for fair week.
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