Burlington County Farm Fair Association prohibiting display of Confederate flag at future fairs

Officials say the new rule comes in response to instances at last year’s fair.

Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs has announced that in response to the requests made by the Burlington County 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.

Officials say the new rule comes in response to 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,” Gibbs said. “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 board denounced its presence and called for the prohibition of its use at all future events.

In a letter dated Aug. 8, the 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 board wrote to the association again on Sept. 5, reiterating the request that the association, “…take action and adopt our policy recommendation…”

The call from the Burlington County Freeholder Board was first answered on Sept. 28, when the Burlington County Farm Fair Board of Directors summarized their meeting that day in a letter to the Burlington County 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 Burlington County Freeholder Board’s request was fully adhered to when, on Jan. 26, it received the Burlington County Farm Fair Association’s official policy in writing, that 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.”

Gibbs described the Burlington County Farm Fair as one of the county’s proudest traditions, providing our residents with an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the county’s vibrant agriculture industry and history as a rural community.

“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,” Gibbs said.