A longtime Pennsylvania activist burned a ‘hybrid’ Confederate and Nazi flag in protest on Friday after the Bloomsburg Fair decided to allow the sale of Confederate merchandise this year.
Gene Stilp claims that allowing one flag and not the other is a false distinction.
“The values of both flags are disgustingly equal,” Stilp told PhillyVoice. “Both stood for racism, hatred, bigotry and even death.”
A vendor selling Nazi flags was expelled from last year’s festival.
After getting the okay from the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, the activist and former Democratic congressional candidate took his flag—a Nazi flag on one side and a Rebel flag stitched onto the other—to the county courthouse on the first day of the fair.
He burned it in a trash can to ensure the public’s safety.
Stilp told PhillyVoice that he hoped to drive home his point that the Confederate flag, like the swastika, stands for “intolerance and intimidation.”
“The Confederate flag is being used to intimidate minorities and I won’t stand for that,” fellow activist Charles Facka, who also posted video of the burning on Facebook, told PhillyVoice.
The incident comes as cities nationwide are grappling with whether to remove or relocate a wide range of Confederate symbols and statues.