Freeholders, Farm Fair Association ban display of Confederate flags at Farm Fair festivals

Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs announced today that in response to the requests made by the Freeholder Board, the Burlington County Farm Fair Association has officially adopted a clear policy prohibiting the display of the Confederate flag at all future Farm Fair festivals. The new rule delivers a successful resolution to two separate instances at last year’s fair.

“Like many of our county residents and visitors, I was disheartened and concerned that the Confederate flag was displayed by attendees at last year’s Farm Fair. While I greatly respect the right to free speech, there is no place in our society for images depicting intolerance and hatred,” said Director Gibbs. “I am pleased the fair’s organizers have taken action to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Following reports of the Confederate flag being displayed at last year’s annual Farm Fair held in July, the Freeholder Board immediately denounced its presence and called for the prohibition of its use at all future events.

In a letter dated August 8, 2017, the Freeholder Board wrote to the Burlington County Farm Fair Association calling on them to join the Board in, “…denouncing the use of the Confederate Flag by establishing a clear policy prohibiting its use at all future events.” The County wrote to the Association again on September 5, 2017 reiterating our request that they, “…take action and adopt our policy recommendation…”

The Freeholder Board’s call to action was first answered on September 28, 2017, when the Burlington County Farm Fair Board of Directors summarized their meeting that day in a letter to the Freeholder Board stating that they voted to, “…adopt the policy recommendations of the Burlington County Freeholders regarding the display of the Confederate Battle Flag during farm fair events…”

Then, just recently, the Freeholder Board’s request was fully adhered to when, on January 26, 2018, it received the Association’s official policy in writing, which states, “The display of any sign, flag, including the Confederate Battle Flag, or banner that may be construed as offensive to the general public, such as, but not limited to those containing obscene material or language is strictly prohibited.”

“The Burlington County Farm Fair is one of the county’s proudest traditions, providing our residents with an opportunity to celebrate and recognize our vibrant agriculture industry and history as a rural community,” concluded Director Gibbs. “With the policy now in place, fair-goers can take solace knowing that this summer and beyond they will be able to comfortably enjoy all of the offerings at the fair.”