WELLINGTON, Ohio (AP) — A coalition opposed to the sale of Confederate flags at a county fair in northeast Ohio has posted billboards objecting to those sales.
Jeanine Donaldson, executive director of the Elyria and Lorain YWCAs, said the Fair-minded Coalition of Lorain County has posted three billboards in Lorain County with funding from the Lorain YWCA, The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria reported.
The billboards include the phrase: "Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Keep Your Pledge! SAY NO to the Confederate Flag at the Lorain County Fair." They also show an image of the American flag.
Donaldson said the Fair-minded Coalition was formed in 2016 under the YWCA's social justice umbrella which addresses the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
"Once the Ohio State Fair banned the sale of the flags in 2015, we thought other counties would do likewise," Donaldson said. "It seemed like a no-brainer."
Lorain County Fair president Ron Pickworth said every organization can make its own decision about the flag sales.
He said he believes people should have the right to buy Confederate flags and that those sales will be allowed at this year's fair, which will start Aug. 20.
"It's part of freedom of speech to let it continue to be sold," he said.
Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy, a Democrat, called on the fair board to ban the sale of the Confederate flag in 2015 calling it, at the time, "a symbol of hatred and division." He says he still believes the flag should not be sold or displayed at the fair.
"We need unity in this country, not division and hate," Lundy said Friday.
Pickworth said the flag vendor plans on returning to the fair this year.