News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Confederate flag

Flying Confederate Flag Dishonors Our Ancestors
LETTER from CONSUELO KRAHAM VELEZ

Flying Confederate Flag

Dishonors Our Ancestors

To the Editor:

My great-grandfather, Malachi Kraham, an Irish IMMIGRANT, came to this country in 1859.  He settled in Otsego County and shortly after arriving, like many other young men from Otsego County, he joined the New York Militia during the Civil War.  He served in the Union Army, under the American flag to preserve the Union and abolish slavery.

Eventually, he came back to Cooperstown, to his young bride, raised a family, ran a business, became fire chief of the Neptune Company and mayor of Cooperstown.  He was one of the lucky ones.  Many of his comrades were not so fortunate and died valiantly in a noble cause.

I find it particularly repulsive to see Confederate flags being prominently displayed and sold at the Otsego County Fair and along the highways and byways of our beautiful county.  (Don’t bore me with the “free speech” argument. Everyone knows what is really being “telegraphed”.)  The Confederate flag represents sedition against the United States, i.e. seeking the violent overthrow of the government.

This is about decency.  This putrid symbol of oppression and division mocks the sacrifice of Otsego County’s brave young soldiers.  To fly or otherwise display this treasonous symbol dishonors our ancestors.

CONSUELO KRAHAM VELEZ

Cooperstown

Confederate Flag Putrid Reminder Racism Festers

LETTER from DAVID HAYES

Confederate Flag

Putrid Reminder

Racism Festers

To the Editor,

I read Jennifer Hill’s confederate flag story in its entirety and found the piece well written and sensitive to differing views. My objection is your newspaper’s implied endorsement of a hate symbol by front page placement.

This was the standard held high by treasonous men who shot and killed U.S. Army soldiers. It remains a putrid reminder of this country’s festering racism, and was more recently displayed by mass murderers with machine guns.

I have little patience with the heritage trope and see the stars and bars as glorifying white nationalism, anger and raw hatred.

DAVID HAYES

Coventry, Conn.

Rebel Flag Ominous To Many; Do We Want It At Fairs? NO!

LETTER from PAUL CONWAY

Rebel Flag Ominous To Many;

Do We Want It At Fairs? NO!

To the Editor:

Jennifer Hill’s article “… A Matter of Freedom,” raised the issue of whether Confederate flags should be marketed at county fairs such as ours, in Morris.

One side of the issue is well stated there. The vendor quoted was a reasonable individual who articulated the rights of all citizens to symbolically express themselves with displays of flags. There is “more and more buying both the rebel flag and the American flag together,” he remarked.

Historically, Confederate flags have symbolized support for slavery and secession from the USA. Most recently the flag in question has become a symbol that inspires defiance by Alt-Right and White Nationalist groups that promote random violence against non-white people.

Recall the photos of Dylan Roof in Charleston, S.C., and recent mass murders in other American cities. Just as the Nazi flag is seen as a dangerous perversion of contemporary German nationalism, the Confederate “rebel” flag is now ominous for many of us, a symbolic perversion of American nationalism.

No one should question the Constitutional right of individuals in this country to possess or display confederate flags: They still mean many things to different people.

Rather, given the context of increased polarization and mass murders by domestic terrorists, the question is simply: Do we want our county fair(s) to permit the display and sale of Confederate flags? For many of us here, as in Delaware County and throughout the state, the answer is NO!

PAUL CONWAY

Oneonta

Stars & Bars Can Be Sold At Delco Fair, But Cannot Be Displayed, Foes Assert

Delco Sheriff Vows

Stars, Bars Display Ban

Will Be Made To Stick

Dumond Quoted Telling Coop Extension:

Prohibition To Be ‘Aggressively Enforced’

Truthsayers.org reported in April that students are lobby Cornell University to get involved in banning Stars & Bars as state fairs, saying it creates a “hostile environment” for fair workers.

DELHI – The Delaware County Fair Board has voted to allow vendors to continue to selling Confederate flags and related memorabilia , but will “aggressively enforce” a prohibition on their display, Fair For All announced today.

As its source, Fair For All quoted statements by Delaware County Sheriff Craig Dumond at a May 20 meeting of the board of local Cornell Cooperative Extension board, which he chairs.

A prohibition on display was put in place in 2018; however; however, it was not enforced, according to  Fair For All.

Fair Gates Closed On Stars And Bars Foes

600 Sign Petition For Ban

Fair Gates Closed On

Stars And Bars Foes

“We are moved that so many people in our area have the courage to stand up against hate and racism at our fair – and in our area,” Fair for All co-founder Christine Hunt Wood tells 50 supporters at a press conference today outside the gates of the Delaware County Fair in Walton. (Christopher Brown photo)

WALTON – Fifty participants in the Fair for All movement seeking a ban on the sale of Confederate flags at the Delaware County Fair today were barred at the fair gates from delivering a 600-signature petition, according to spokesperson Laura McClure.

When the 50 Fair for All supporters approached the gate, a security guard closed it, said McClure.  Then Ed Rossley, president of the fair board, arrived, told them they could not enter, and declined to accept the petition.   The fair board’s secretary later accepted the document, the spokesperson said.

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