Fact Check: Is Trump Merchandise Banned at the Dutchess Fair?
Some Trump loyalists have been complaining online about a "ban" on merchandise supporting the former president, but is that really the case?
It seems that nothing comes without political controversy. Sadly, even something as wholesome and non-partisan as the good 'ol county fair isn't immune from people trying to stir the pot.
Several Facebook threads have popped up over the past week complaining about a supposed rule at the Dutchess County fair that bans any items from being sold that bear the name of former president Donald Trump. In this age of digital outrage we know that some people just like to play the victim, so is this really a case of Trump being "canceled" by the fair or people just whining about nothing?
The controversy even hit the Dutchess County Government's Facebook page. A posting about the county's ThinkDIFFERENTLY Thursday program was hijacked by someone complaining about the supposed ban. The conversation was focused on details about the fairgrounds opening early this year for special-needs families and those with sensory sensitivity but quickly devolved into complaints about Trump being disrespected.
The posting alleged that the fair was not allowing vendors to sell any Trump items. A response from the county was that the fair was privately owned and can do what they like. The county went on to say, "we are aware their by-laws prohibit political activity, events, sales on site." but urged the individual to contact the fairgrounds directly to clarify their position on Trump items.
We reached out to the Dutchess County Fair ourselves and it turns out that there is no Trump ban perse. However, some obscene or controversial items that also happen to promote the former president may be against fair policy.
We know that some Trump merchandise can contain vulgar language or even symbols related to certain hate groups. In those cases, items would not be allowed at vendor booths. A representative from the Dutchess County Fair shared their list of banned items with us.
The following items are not allowed: guns, knives (excepting kitchen cutlery), poppers, cap guns, smoke bombs, fireworks, explosives, drug paraphernalia, stretch bottles, silly string, laser pointers, any type of blowgun and any other item deemed dangerous or controversial by Fair management. Items bearing the image of the Confederate flag are banned per NYS law...Obscene and inappropriate materials are forbidden. The management reserves the right to make these judgments. Products bearing the Fair logo or name are prohibited except from vendors with permission.
So, no it is not against policy for vendors to sell Trump shirts, hats, flags, banners or toilet seat covers. But if those items happen to also contain vulgar language or the confederate flag, as Trump merchandise sometimes does, they may not be allowed at the Dutchess County Fair.
We've all seen Trump shirts that use foul language to criticize the media or flags that are intended to ruffle feathers by telling those with different views to "F*** your feelings." Under the bylaws, those items could also be banned.
Trump loyalists also sometimes use the confederate flag in their messaging, a recognized symbol of hate that has been banned for sale in many states, including New York. Any items promoting slavery, glorifying the overthrow of the government or other activities that are represented by the confederate flag are also forbidden.
But as far as shirts declaring undying love for the former reality show host and president or those promoting his fanciful (non-vulgar) catchphrases can all be sold at the fair, so be sure to bring your hard-earned money and buy whatever you like.