Clark County Ag. Society expected to approve ban on Confederate flag

Clark County Fairground. Jeff Guerini/Staff

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Clark County Fairground. Jeff Guerini/Staff

The Board of Directors of the Clark County Agricultural Society is expected to approve a policy banning the display and sale of the Confederate flag at the Clark County Fairgrounds, according to the fairgrounds executive director.

The board is expected to look at the policy on Thursday night during a special meeting, which was originally scheduled to discuss last-minute Clark County Fair preparation, Clark County Fairground Executive Director Dean Blair said.

“I can’t speak for the board, but I am quite confident that it will be enacted,” Blair said. “I know that board members feel the same way I do. If there is something that is dirty or in really bad taste, we would not want that to be displayed or sold here.”

The policy has moved to the board for approval after the Board of Clark County Commissioners approved a resolution on Wednesday to send a letter to the board encouraging them to adopt a policy banning the display and sale of confederate flags at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

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Commission President Melanie Flax Wilt said during Wednesday’s meeting she was happy to see the commission “take up” the resolution.

“I’m confident that the agricultural society will manage (the policy) in whatever way they think is best for them and for their vendors,” Flax Wilt said.

The resolution would include banning the sale or display of any culturally insensitive products, including the Confederate flag, at the fairgrounds.

“Prepare and send a letter to the Board of Directors of the Clark County Agricultural Society encouraging the, to adopt a policy banning the sale or display of culturally insensitive products, including the Confederate Flag, by all vendors and guests at events taking place at the Clark County Fairgrounds, including but not limited to, the Clark County Fair,” the resolution reads in full.

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If the board adopts the policy it would take effect immediately, meaning it will be in place by the time the 2020 Clark County Fair begins on July 25 — something Blair said he’s happy about.

“We are trying to be pleasant and respectful of everyone in this county,” Blair said. “This is a public place for all of the people of this county and we want that reflected.”

Blair said he’s glad the commission voted to set the policy change in motion because the fair board had been previously, “trying to watch,” the issue of display or sale of items like Confederate flag or other offensive items “for a while.” When fairground employees have seen the sale or display of the flag, they have asked retailers or fair-goers to put the item away or change.

“Maybe people don’t think it’s offensive but when it’s pointed out them, they are more than willing to help us out. Everyone has been respectful of that. We have never had any issue with anyone being defensive,” Blair said.

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