XENIA, Ohio — A photo taken at a 1924 Ku Klux Klan rally with burning crosses was stripped of its winning blue ribbon at a county fair after a complaint that it was offensive.
The photo, which won first place in an antique photo category at the Greene County Fair in Xenia, depicts robed and unrobed KKK members kneeling in a circle at a Dayton rally. Burning crosses are visible in the background of the white supremacist group’s gathering. On the photo is written “Dayton Klan 23 ... Realm-of-Ohio ... September 27, 1924.”
The photo was removed from the western Ohio fairgrounds Tuesday after someone complained to a fair board member about what it showed and said it shouldn’t have been rewarded by the fair, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Officials want to make clear that the fair in no way was endorsing what the photo depicted.
“We stripped the first-place placing and we have removed the photo from the fairgrounds,” said Jeff Barr, Greene County Agricultural Society director. “The photo was not something we support at all. ... We’re here for everybody.”
He said judges in such contests are considering artistry and antiquity when awarding ribbons.
“It could have been the oldest antique there,” Barr said.
The photo was returned to its owner, who wasn’t identified by the fair.