I spotted Leon Leather Co, a long time vendor at the Indiana State Fair, selling Confederate flags and other merchandise that had the Stars and Bars featured on products, such as door mats.
While I'm a long time fan of the Indiana State Fair, I've never really ventured into the retail vendors that are selling clothing and hot tubs. Why would I go to the fair for that when I can get that stuff year around?
So maybe this vendor has been at the fair for years, probably selling these types of products (and to be fair, a ton of other stuff) for years. And I suppose nobody has complained about it either. That's what Andy Klotz, PR Director for the Fair, tells me.
I don't know if this is because nobody has noticed it. Or it is because people don't recognize Confederate flags as a symbol of racism. Even if you genuinely believe that the Confederacy revolted against the North for truly non-racist, non-slavery reasons**, you can't deny that the Confederate Flag has been paraded around by racists as a symbol of racism. On the same day that the South Carolina legislature hoisted the Confederate Flag up, it was in the middle of the Civil War centennial and the Civil Rights movement was well underway. While the Confederate Flag flying over South Carolina's state legislature didn't cause any controvery itself, it is a symbol of all that was wrong with our country at the time. A simple Google search shows widespread use of Confederate symbols among white supremacy organizations and white power media.
This doesn't sit right with me, and I certainly don't believe it belongs at our state fair.
**I say believe because there's no way someone could make that into a factual argument. Slavery was most certainly THE biggest contributing factor to the American Civil War. There is no arguing otherwise.