The Agricultural Society of the Athens Country Fair voted Saturday on whether or not Confederate flag memorabilia should be sold at the fair. Athens County Commissioners wrote a letter to the fair board, asking for them to ban the sale of the merchandise. 124 members of the society voted against banning the sale and only 33 voted for. The selling of Confederate merchandise needs to stop, and people need to stop discussing it. 

11 Southern states decided to secede from the Union in 1860, and those states formed the Confederacy. South Carolina seceded first followed by Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida. The south seceded because it wanted to keep slavery, and the north did not want to recognize the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision in 1857. 

The Civil War is a time that people, mainly African-Americans, would not like to reminisce about. The Confederate flag and its merchandise symbolize racism and slavery. The items represent a time when the United States was divided in moral standards. 

The merchandise has nothing to do with Southern heritage or commemoration of the Civil War. People should not be proud of a time when the nation was divided and vulnerable. For African-Americans, it takes them back to the dark times of slavery and symbolizes white-supremacy. 

Selling Confederate merchandise is hurtful and disrespectful. The Ohio State Fair has banned the selling of this merchandise. Even then, Ohio was a crucial part of the Union, aiding its military with troops, artillery and other supplies, so it makes no sense to allow the selling of this hateful merchandise. 

The spread of Confederate flag merchandise and the conversations about it need to stop. There needs to be a general consensus that these items symbolize hate and racism. The fact that the board allowed the continuation of the sales of this merchandise is outrageous. Knowing about the history of the flag and the Confederacy itself, there is no reason to continue supporting these degrading, derogatory symbols.

Iana Fields is a freshman studying English creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Iana? Tweet her @FieldsIana.

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