Donald Trump has attracted support from white supremacists, KKK leaders and neo-Nazis, but has never publically welcomed such backers, so the Republican candidate would probably want to steer clear of a vendor displaying swastika and Trump flags at a Pennsylvania flea market.
The merchant had his Nazi memorabilia confiscated by the fair after a woman shopper spotted his table with a bright red Nazi flag proudly on display, right next to his “Trump: Make America Great Again” flag as well as flags supporting and deriding Hillary Clinton. He was booted from the event Monday once organizers learned he was a convicted sex offender, WNEP reported.
“I was absolutely shocked and appalled when I saw this Nazi flag hanging at the Bloomsburg Fair yesterday,” Chloe Winters wrote on Facebook, WNEP reported, in a since-deleted post. “This flag represents the brutal and horrific genocide of innocent people.”
After Winters complained, the merchant, identified by Philadelphia Magazine as registered sex offender Lawrence Betsinger, was reportedly unapologetic about selling the infamous symbol, flown over Germany from 1933 when the Nazi Party seized political power until 1945.
Ironically, Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to the top of Republican primaries earlier this year and unexpected victory clinching the nomination has dogged by accusations that his politicsechothose of fascist leaders.
Bloomsburg Fair organizers grabbed up the offensive flags the morning after the photo was posted online.
“We were initially unaware of the flag and other merchandise being displayed by a vendor on our fairgrounds,” fair president Paul Reichart said in a statement posted on Facebook Monday. “As soon as we were made aware of it early this morning, we took the appropriate action with the vendor to remove those items.”
According to the state sex offender registry, Betsinger was convicted on child porn-related charges in 2007.
Betsinger told Philadelphia Magazine he also sold Hillary for president flags, and that hedisagreed with his Nazi flags and Confederate flags being confiscated.
“If you don’t want it, don’t look at it,” he said. “I’m not making anybody buy it. I guess there’s no First Amendment at the Bloomsburg Fair.”
Nazi flags and hate stickers being sold alongside Trump merchandise at the Bloomsburg Fair in Pennsylvania
— Gildardo Motolinia (@bun_lucila) September 26, 2016