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County fair bans Confederate flag sales after 'someone got their feelings hurt

The Vernon County Fair's 11-member board voted to ban sales of the controversial flag in June. "It goes both ways. You make two people happy and 50 people get angry,” one official said. \n (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The sale of Confederate flags were banned at a Wisconsin county fair after "someone got their feelings hurt," a fair official told the LaCrosse Tribune.

“As a board, we decided it wasn’t a necessary item,” John McClelland Jr., vice president of the Vernon County Fair in Viroqua, told the paper. “It’s a piece of our history, but someone got their feelings hurt. So we decided not to sell it.”

He told the Tribune that the fair's 11-member board voted to ban sales of the controversial flag in June — and then complaints came in about the move: “It goes both ways. You make two people happy and 50 people get angry.”

McClelland told the paper that when he thinks of the Confederate flag, he pictures “The Dukes of Hazzard” as opposed to racism and hate.

That's not how local resident Mark Kastel sees it, however.

Last year, Kastel confronted a fair vendor who was selling the Confederate flag, the Tribune reported, and Kastel said the vendor became intimidating and started cursing.

“It angers me personally because I consider [the Confederate flag] a symbol of hate,” Kastel told the paper. “Family members of mine who were active in the Civil Rights movement were beaten up in the past.”

Kastel told the paper that he filed a police report against the vendor and demanded at a fair board meeting last winter that officials ban the sale of Confederate flags. And while the board indeed approved banning sales of the flag, Kastel told the Tribune that a number of board members weren't too happy hearing his arguments.

“I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who claim that [the Confederate flag] is some important part of their heritage,” Kastel told the Vernon County Broadcaster. “I’m asking the board to be conciliatory to everybody in the community. Even if there is one person negatively affected by this, that’s too many.”

Kastel added to the paper that while the fair is run by a nonprofit organization, it receives county assistance and should be treated as a public event — and should keep everyone feeling safe and secure.

(H/T: The American Mirror)

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