Wayne County Fair Continues Without Confederate Flag Ban As Religious Leaders Host a Booth On Race

Sep 12, 2016

Religious leaders in Wayne County say fair officials still won't ban the sale of Confederate flags, but they didn't actually see any for sale this weekend.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The Wayne County Fair continues this week, and so do sales of the Confederate flag there. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the flag may be less of an issue than other merchandise.

The Wooster/Orrville NAACP and local religious leaders have banded together to run a booth at the fair under #WayneCountyFairForAll. The group had asked fair officials to ban the sale of the Confederate flag, which the fair board has not done. Over the weekend, the “Fair For All” group saw no flags, but did find a few items – such as belt buckles and T-shirts – featuring logos from companies like Ford and Chevy, stylized with the Confederate flag’s design motif.

Jason Ferrell is part of the “Fair For All” group, and he says the next step is to find out where that merchandise is coming from.

"We are very curious to find out where these companies stand, because we would like to hear back from Ford to find out, 'Do they support this? Is this officially licensed merchandise?'"

Andries Coetzee is pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wooster, and he says he’s hearing one message while talking to people at their booth.

"There really are a large proportion of poor people within Wayne County who feel that the system has failed them. And I think their anger is very much displaced. And they direct it towards a minority of black and brown people within in our community."

Coetzee points out that his group is only against sales of the Confederate flag but is not against the wearing or display of the flag by fair-goers.