Vendors Forced to Remove Confederate Battle Flags

News

GILBERT, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Two weeks after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia local fair vendors are receiving backlash for selling and displaying the Confederate Battle Flag. 

On Tuesday, leaders of the West End Fair met and voted on their solution.

Tim Paules travels with his stand to different fairs across the state. He sells various items, including Confederate Battle Flags, belt buckles and hats.

“It’s a top selling item,” he explains.

But Tim and the West End Fair have received complaints from the public.

“There’s been two incidents, and the last one we had she was real nasty about it,” explains Tim Paules of Lehigh County.

Vendors who sell Confederate items and fair leaders had a special meeting about the issue.

“Some of those things come up depending on the times. But we’re hoping it doesn’t affect anything,” says Tom Hodgdon, West End Fair Vice President.

Tom Hodgdon, Vice President of the West End Fair, didn’t want to publicly discuss the board’s decision. But vendors say after the meeting, they were told they can’t publicly display Confederate Battle Flags anymore. Vendors can still sell them, though.

Confederate items can still be displayed.

“Come on, that’s our history,” says Dave Smith, owner of Decal Dave.

Decal Dave is not happy with the decision. He sells Confederate Battle Flags that say ‘Heritage Not Hate’. He removed the flag from display, but has a sign to let customers know they’re still for sale.

“Everyone’s in an uproar about the flag. They want to erase the Civil War,” he explains.

Eyewitness News spoke with several vendors selling Confederate Battle Flags. They all agreed to remove them from public view at the Fair’s request.

Eyewitness News spoke over the phone with one woman who actively voiced her concerns to vendors and Fair leaders. She says she is satisfied with the board’s decision.

The West End Fair runs through Saturday, August 26th.

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