On August 22, 2018

No Confederate flags at Rutland Fair for first time

By Curt Peterson

RUTLAND—As of Monday, Aug. 20, the Rutland Area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People gathered 3,946 signatures on a petition (RANAACP) asking management of the Vermont State Fair to prohibit display or sale of Confederate symbols or flags at last weekend’s event.

The RANAACP Facebook page said, “Taking the step to ban the Confederate flag at the State Fair would be a way of making a very large statement. Rutland welcomes and supports people of color, as well as others who may face discrimination or bias in their lives.”

In response to the RANAACP’s concerns and to complaints received from fair attendees last year, event representatives agreed to “ask” vendors to refrain from displaying the Confederate items, but stopped at establishing a formal policy.

The petition began circulating the day the fair opened.

“We are happy to report,” Tabatha Polhl-Moore, president of RANAACP wrote in an email to the Mountain Times, “that for the first time, there were NO Confederate flags or Confederate flag merchandise spotted at the Vermont State Fair this year.”

Neither the Confederate nor the Nazi flags bear benevolent connotations. They are at the center of current national and local controversy because of the meaning with which humans have imbued them.

“Both symbols represent… an intent to dominate other races,” Pohl-Moore wrote.

“Even white supremacists know [the Confederate flag] is a symbol of hate meant to intimidate and incite fear – that is why they use it,” Pohl-Moore said.

Both the Confederate and Nazi flags are symbols of governments that famously lost major military contests, and both symbolized white supremacy.

One of several early Confederate flag versions had a purposefully prominent white background. Defending that design, William Tappan Thompson, editor of the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, wrote in an April 1863 editorial, “As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race.”

There are many references from the Civil War era claiming slavery was a right which the Confederacy supported, and which the Union wanted to invalidate.

For a few decades the Confederate flag received limited attention. Then, in 1948, Senator Strom Thurmond inspired the “Dixiecrat” movement, rallying much of the South to fight desegregation of schools, and the flag became a popular symbol of anti-civil rights sentiment.

The swastika that adorned the Nazi flag was the symbol for German nationalism based on Aryan race supremacy. Today it is against the law to display the swastika or the Nazi flag in Germany.

There is no national law against displaying the Confederate or Nazi symbols in the United States.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Large turnout for Hartland school budget info session

May 23, 2024
By Curt Peterson The May 21 Hartland school budget information session may be the best-attended school board gathering in recent history — an estimated 40 people attended in person at Damon Hall in Hartland, and another 41 tuned in online. Hartland voters had already approved the $11,040,567 budget 320-311 on April 2. But a petition…

United Way of Rutland County names new exc. director

May 22, 2024
The United Way of Rutland County (UWRC) announced the appointment of Tina Van Guilder as its new executive director, May 17.  Van Guilder officially assumed her role as executive director May 6. With over seven years of direct non-profit leadership experience in the Rutland County area, coupled with recent roles focusing on grant coordination, budget…

Slate Valley school district to hold fourth vote on district budget

May 22, 2024
In response to the results of the last vote on May 9, and valuable community feedback during the school board meeting on May 13, the Slate Valley Unified Union School District will hold its fourth vote in an attempt to pass the budget on May 30. It will be a revote on the third FY25…

Where is the road construction this week? 

May 22, 2024
The Agency of Transportation produces this weekly report of planned construction activities that will impact traffic on state highways and interstates throughout Vermont. Hartford: Monday, May 20, through Friday, May 24, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., multiple concrete mixers will be moving in and out of the project area at either end of the…