A photo of a September 1924 Dayton Ku Klux Klan rally, which won a blue ribbon for first place at this year’s Greene County Fair, has been stripped of its ribbon Tuesday following a complaint that the photo was offensive.
The photo, entered in the antique adult group category, shows what appears to be several hundred KKK members gathering in a circle, kneeling as they surround three to five robed members in the middle of the circle.
Three burning crosses are in the background of the photo. In the lower left corner of the photo are the words, written on three lines: “Dayton Klan 23…Realm-of-Ohio… September, 27, 1924.”
“We stripped the first-place placing and we have removed the photo from the fairgrounds,” Jeff Barr, Greene County Agricultural Society director, told News Center 7 on Tuesday night.
Barr said he thinks the person who complained was offended by the content of the photo, and that person thought the fair was endorsing it by awarding it a prize.
There wasn’t much feedback in reaction to removing the photo, Barr said. “Once we saw it and once we found out about it, it was taken care of right away.”
Judges study entries for the artistic and don’t look at the content, Barr said. “It could have been the oldest antique there. On things like that, it’s one person’s opinion.”
Barr said he found out about the photo after someone told another fair board member about it.
“The photo was not something we support at all,” Barr said. “The photo does not show anything for the fair. We’re here for everybody.”
The fair does not want to offend anyone, Barr said, noting, “we are inclusive of everyone here.”
The photo has been returned to the owner, Barr said. The owner was not identified. The winner’s take: $3, “not a lot,” Barr said.
The fair continues through Aug. 3.