Clark County Ag. Society OKs ban on Confederate flag sales

The Board of the Clark County Agricultural Society has approved a ban on the sale and display for sale of the Confederate flag. Jeff Guerini/Staff

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The Board of the Clark County Agricultural Society has approved a ban on the sale and display for sale of the Confederate flag. Jeff Guerini/Staff

The Board of Directors of the Clark County Agricultural Society has approved a new policy banning the sale and display for sale of the Confederate flag and other symbols of hate speech at the Clark County Fairgrounds, the fairgrounds executive director said.

Under the new policy, fairgoers will still be able to display the flag while camping on the fairgrounds site or by wearing the flag on an item of clothing.

The board’s policy is based on a letter it received from the Clark County commissioners on Thursday asking that the sale of the Confederate flags and other hate symbols be banned.

On Wednesday, the commissioners approved a broader resolution asking the agricultural society to ban the sale and display of the Confederate flag and hate symbols.

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Commission President Melanie Flax Wilt said the changes made between the resolution and the letter “better reflect the intent” of what the resolution was supposed to focus on.

“We don’t want people displaying it for sale or selling. So we clarified that because we don’t want to get into infringing on freedom of speech,” Flax Wilt said. “The intent was to stop vendors from selling the flags.”

Executive Director Dean Blair said the board passed a resolution Thursday night and the ban will take effect immediately. That means vendors at the fairgrounds will now be asked not to sell any Confederate flags or other symbols of hate including at the 2020 Clark County Fair, which begins on July 25.

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“We are happy we were able to act on this quickly before the upcoming fair,” Blair said.

In the initial resolution, the board agreed to send a letter to the agricultural society encouraging them to adopt a policy banning the display and sale of Confederate flags 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.

However, in the letter sent to the fair board, the commission did not ask the agricultural society to ban the display of the flag, the letter said. Instead, commissioners asked the board to, “take action to prohibit the display for sale and sale of items that are commonly considered symbols of hate speech, including the Confederate flag.”

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