WELLINGTON — Joe Maybaugh proudly displays the Confederate flag on his car and he’s not alone.
Country music blared, while protesters calmly chatted in the shadow of the rebel flag Friday evening in the parking lot behind City Hall.
The rally, which drew about 15 people and eight cars by 7 p.m. on Friday, was organized by Maybaugh to show support for the confederate flag.
“People have the right and the freedom to display and believe whatever they want,” he said. “I’m not trying to take that away from anybody. The only thing I’m trying to do is to keep my rights from being infringed.”
One man biked by the group on and shouted.
“I’m extremely offended by your flag,” the biker yelled.
That’s his right to be offended, Maybaugh said. But it’s also their right to fly the flag, he continued. Several other protesters agreed.
Maybaugh organized the protest and started an “Ohio Confederate Support Group” on Facebook after Lorain County Democrats condemned the Lorain County Fair Board’s decision to allow merchants to sell the Confederate flag at the fair.
“It pisses me off because everybody thinks its racist and it’s not,” Dustin Gaines said. “There’s guys at work that are African-Americans and … they fly it at home.”
Gaines, who works at the landfill in Oberlin, said his bosses asked him to stop displaying the flag on his car at work a few weeks ago.
Maybaugh is from Wellington but said he flies the flag to support Southern heritage and freedom of speech.
“You don’t have to be from a Southern state to support a heritage, to support an idea,” he said.
Contact Elizabeth Dobbins at 329-7207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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