Lawmakers in an Ohio House committee rejected a proposed amendment that would have banned the sale and display of the Confederate flag at county fairs in Ohio.
Democratic state Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) wanted to add the amendment to a bill that allows county fairs to hold events during the COVID-19 pandemic. She told the Ohio House Agriculture Committee other states have banned the sale and display of the Confederate flag at their county fairs, and there’s no reason for Ohio not to follow suit.
“If we were talking about putting something inside of a museum, I would gladly put this flag inside of a museum because we could all learn from the history of our country," Brent said. "But to be selling it, distributing it, to be putting it up in the places that we love going to, which is our county fairs, our independent fairs, when the state fair has not allowed it since 2015, we should make, have our county fairs fall in line with this."
The Ohio State Fair banned vendors from selling Confederate flags or other related memorabilia in 2015.
Brent said the Confederate flag is offensive, and there's no significance for it in Ohio anyway.
“Ohio was never part of the Confederacy at all, so we are holding onto a flag that was never part of our state’s history," Brent said.
Republican state Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) said the debate over banning flags at county fairs could be held later and should be expanded to all flags.
“We’ve got a lot of enemies of our country," Jones said. "And I just don’t know that this is the appropriate bill, the appropriate time. If we are going to ban flags, I think we ban all of those flags, not just one."
And Jones said local control should be respected.
“They need to make those decisions for themselves. That’s not our job," Jones said.
The Republican committee chair, state Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), cut off debate over the issue against the objections from Brent. He gaveled her down, and she responded by saying, "Treasonous."
The amendment was rejected with majority Republicans voting to table it and Democratic members voting to adopt it.