MEDINA, Ohio — The controversial "Stars & Bars" will be no more at one of Northeast Ohio's biggest gatherings.
Vendors at the Medina County Fair have all mutually agreed to no longer sell or display the Confederate flag. The County Agricultural Society's board of directors held a special meeting this week to discuss several issues, and the flag came up.
"The Medina County Fair welcomes all visitors, exhibitors, volunteers as well as concessionaires, and the Board is very sensitive to the social issues related to the Confederate flag," the board said in a statement.
The society stresses that this is not a "ban" on the flag's presence at the fair, as they claim such a measure could be "subject to Constitutional challenges." Instead, the chairperson of the board spoke with vendors, and all agreed to "voluntarily" stop displaying or selling it.
The Confederate flag has come under increased scrutiny following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protest, with many decrying its ties to racism and the pro-slavery South during the Civil War. An amendment that would've banned the sale of the flag at all Ohio's county fairs was introduced in the State House of Representatives, but the Republican-led chamber voted it down.
Last week, 3News spoke to activist Leah Nichols, who started a petition asking the fair to remove the flag. As of Thursday evening, the petition had more than 5,500 signatures.
"I really do think if there’s ever a time that it’s going to happen, now is a great one," Nichols explained at the time.
The Medina County Fair is set to take place the week of Aug. 3, although several new measures will be in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. The board had initially decided to cancel the event before reversing course only a week later.