- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Organizers for the Charles County Fair in southern Maryland have banned the Confederate battle flag from display at the upcoming festival, citing safety concerns, WTOP Radio in the District of Columbia, is reporting.

At issue was the annual display of the banner by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, something that had led to complaints by some fairgoers, WTOP said.

“The flag will not be flown. No symbols of the Confederacy will be on the fairgrounds, not for sale or display,” said the president of the fair’s board of directors, J.T. Hindle.

“We wanted the safety for our fairgoers while they were here, while they were getting here and while they were leaving,” explained Mr. Hindle.

Historically a rural farming county, Charles in the past few decades has become increasingly suburban and more diverse, hosting commuters into the nearby D.C. metropolitan area, growing numbers of whom are African-American.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2016, some 46.4 percent of Charles County residents are “Black or African-American alone” while whites, once a majority in the jurisdiction, now account for 45.5 percent of the population. For historical comparison, more than two-thirds (68.51 percent) of Charles County residents described themselves as “white alone” in the 2000 Census and just 50.27 percent in 2010.

While named the Charles County Fair, the gathering’s festivities are organized not by the county government but a non-profit organization, which also owns the fairgrounds on which the fair is held, WTOP noted.

The 94th Annual Charles County Fair will run from Sept. 14-17 in La Plata.

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