Saskatoon Ex tells vendor to stop selling Confederate flags

An official with the Saskatoon Ex said the group is “terribly sorry for the oversight” after a video appeared on Instagram. Kaitlyn Harvey / Supplied

Images on social media have prompted Saskatoon Ex staff to tell a vendor to stop selling Confederate flags.

An Instagram video posted Thursday evening by Kaitlyn Harvey shows four boys with the controversial flag draped over their shoulders while on the grounds at Prairieland Park.

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“I was just so disgusted, really,” Harvey said.

After attempting to explain the flag’s symbolism to the boys, Harvey said the group posed as she recorded the video. Eventually, some of the boys covered their faces before walking away.

Originating in the 1800s, the red flag with blue stripes and white stars was used by Confederate states during the American Civil War. Through the 20th and 21st centuries, the flag became a widely used symbol of racism and white supremacy.

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After being contacted by Global News, Kristy Rempel, marketing manager with Prairieland Park, said a vendor was told to stop displaying and selling the flag.

“We are terribly sorry for the oversight and we have remedied that now,” she said.

When a vendor applies to sell items at the Saskatoon Ex, they provide a general inventory list. Once on-site, Rempel said staff members visually review, inspect and approve all items.

“In this particular case, at that point in time, there was no Confederate flag in that booth,” Rempel said.

READ MORE: Nazi flag in Kelliher, Sask. taken down, burned

Harvey, a Métis woman from Prince Albert, was pleased to see the Ex’s swift response. Still, she’s frustrated seeing the flag normalized by some people in the province.

She also rejects the view held by some that the flag represents southern heritage, not racism.

“Those flags cause people harm. It may not be physical harm, but it is emotional, spiritual, psychological harm,” Harvey said.

She recalled seeing a black Ex worker as he walked by the boys. It was moments before she recorded the video, and Harvey said the disbelief was visible on the man’s face.

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“It is not just a flag. It is a symbol of pain,” she said.

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