Confederate Flag controversy looms over Ulster County fair opening

Anyone expecting a typical opening day of the the Ulster County Fair must not have been reading the news this past week.

The controversy over the cancellation of a performance by the country/southern rock group Confederate Railroad, and renewed attention to the public display of symbols of the Confederate Flag, carried over into fair’s first day and night.

First, as the Daily Freeman reported, some vendors were selling items with symbols of the Confederacy despite a 2015 ban. By today, those items were reportedly nowhere to be seen.

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Next, the opening night entertainment, the local band 90 Proof, made a statement on stage in support of the group Confederate Railroad and critical of the cancellation by the fair’s management, which came at the urging of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, who called the Confederate Flag a “symbol of division and racism.” (Aside from the band’s name, its logo also includes two Confederate battle flags.)

Singer Raymond Minew, donning a shirt with a Confederate Railroad logo on the front and the words “90 PROOF SUPPORTS CONFEDERATE RAILROAD” on the back, said:

“In this great country we live in, we all have the right and the honor to have our own opinions and our own beliefs, and it is my opinion, and the rest of us [gesturing toward the group], that cancelling Confederate Railroad was the wrong decision. But it was not the fair’s fault. So to all you haters out there, and all you politicians who think you can tell us what to do, we got one thing to say to you, you can kiss my country ass!”

The band launched into the song bearing the name of those last four words by Blake Shelton and later performed Confederate Railroad’s biggest hit, “Trashy Women.”

Here’s a video of that part of the performance by videographer Dave Beesmer, posted to the FrontRowDave Facebook page.

For more on the fair, check out our article with the full musical performance schedule, as well as daily entertainment.

There are 19 comments

  1. JP

    Just the name of the band, “Confederate Railroad”, along with a shirt of a train and two confederate flags, was the reason to drop them from the fair? The country has completely gone mad! Freedom for some, but not freedom for others. This kind of thinking will eventually dome the country!

  2. Mr. Universe

    Where’s the Ulster County Fair Beauty Contest these days? Used to have a Miss New Paltz, a Miss Gardiner, a Miss Esopus, etc. The competition ended with a crowning of the winner, who appeared the following year to crown the new winner.
    Now, the most crowd captivating event is pigs racing for Oreo cookies. Great.

  3. Tove Innis

    The Confederate Flag is a symbol of historical and contemporary white supremacist ideology*, and as a descendant of slaveholders and Confederates, it never fails to amaze and disappoint me to see it displayed anywhere outside of a history museum.

    * If you disagree with me on this point, please read Confederate Vice President Stephens’ Cornerstone Speech: “[The Confederacy’s] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

    1. Karl burkhalter

      At Hampton Roads Peace Conference in 1865, Alexander Stephens warned Lincoln that a great human tragedy was occuring since Freedmen were dying by the teens of thousands. Lincoln responded, “Root Hog or Die.” He meant die. One third of freed slaves did not survive until 1870, while Robber Barons funded Union Pacific RR, stealing enough to create panic of 1873, Credit Mobiler Scandal. The US Joint Congressional Sub-committee declared Blacks must be removed to “Warmer Regions” on July 16 1862. They state North America was meant for Anglo, Scandinavian and Celtic races only. This was before Lee’s win streak created a need for replacements.
      More Free Blacks lived in the South because of the severity of Northern racism The Gens de Couleur Libres of the South were by far the richest Blacks in America, because the South gave Blacks far greater economic opportunity. This Lincoln Worship theology has you brainwashed. North invaded for cotton and tariffs not to do Blacks any favors.
      Bands display Satan, Goth and Paganism, and now you are offended by the CSA? Be real! Lee said “Best men of the South wanted out” of the system, “but until a humane method can be devised for emancipation, you do them a disservice by freeing them.”
      The North held 1/2 million slaves directly and a million as collateral for loans to facilitate their #1 revenue source, textiles. Slaves taken in foreclosure were rented out to RRs, not freed. So North offered removal and exclusion, Hitler wrote glowingly about Lincoln in Mien Kampf, ever wonder why?

  4. Anon

    This is the most ridiculous thing. However, look forward to the local and state government banning much more. As long as they are poor hungry and have license to do this kind of thing it will continue. New Paltz and a lot of other towns are becoming “Woodstock Wannabees” and people have nothing else better to do than protest random things. Sadly pir governor is the same and loves to pause these laws.on everyone. The rest of us have to start protesting about the violation of our rights

  5. Rebel Mellow

    Gus Cannon and the Jug Stompers recorded a song about Booker T. Washington being invited to dinner at the White House by Teddy Roosevelt. The song “How Can You Blame The Colored Man For Making Those Goo-Goo Eyes” appeared on their double album in vinyl, but when the CD came out, that song had been deleted?
    Blues music was invented to overcome the minstrel songs and their popularity, the blues being invented in 1901 if you believe the W.C. Handy story about first hearing a bottleneck played guitar at a railroad station in Terwilliger, Mississippi.
    I collect them all.

  6. wizweird@gmail.com

    Umm, excuse me, sir. But don’t try to tell me what that flag means….to me ! Times, and attitude, have changed a tiny bit since that war was going on. The medical journals of the time said pretty much amputation was the only medical treatment for war wounds…Should we ban the bone saw that took so many limbs from our forefathers? In the last 50 years of my life..that flag means something else entirely…are you saying the duke boys were racists?That when I play mountain music by Alabama there are racist comments in there…I know, we will play it backwards!!! Sure..and when I’d see a pair of those flags on a monster truck, I’d get a bit impatient to leave and get back to all that enslavement, and all.Bottom line, to me, is simple.. vote!if enough people all over the US agree with you, it’s gone for good, but if enough agree with me stfu …are you game for democracy? C’mon..I dare you ..

  7. John Garrison

    Let me guess your a Democrat and you support the lgbtabcdefghijkl… whatever it’s calling itself today or for the next 24 hours.

  8. Oklahoma2126

    Fascism is very strong these days in this Country!!! It amazes me how fast people are to suppress others in this Country do to a flag they fly all while stating its do to the suppression of others over a century ago!!! You hypocrites make me sick!!! The fascism of the left is going to either start another Civil War or completely destroy this nation!!!

  9. KS

    The confederate flag is literally an anti-American flag. The folks who flew the flag during the civil war wanted to break the country in order to perpetuate human trafficking and slavery. Please support free speech, please feel free to be racist, but be mindful that displaying the confederate flag is an insult to America and an insult to all Americans who love this country.

    1. Derek

      They didn’t want to ‘break the country’. They just wanted to leave, and be on their own. They were no more “breaking the United States” by their departure than the Colonies ‘broke’ Great Britain by doing the same.

      What is an insult to America is that Lincoln didn’t just let them go, in the fine traditions expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

  10. Ellen Moshenberg

    Using the confederate flag is part of their heritage excuse is equivalent to Germans saying that the Nazi flag is part of theirs.
    There are neo-nazis in Germany using the exact same arguments today. Both are symbols of hate, murder and suppression people using the heritage claim are either liars or fools or ignorant. The neo-nazis and neo-confederates have a lot in common. They definitely support each other.

  11. Bob Davies

    Confederate Railroad should have been banned from the Fair simply because they are terrible performers. No need for any other rationale. The Fair was better off without them. It probably also gave them more time to spend with their cousins.

    1. Red Sovine

      Any band that Willie Nelson records songs with as a guest performer can’t be whistlin’ Dixie?

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