The Chain O’ Lakes Festival is generally seen as one of the biggest “fun” weeks in Albion, but someone took the opportunity this year to spread a message of hatred.
Klu Klux Klan flyers were found on cars all over the downtown area Friday and Saturday. The flyers, which featured an American flag and the perhaps ironic motto “These colors will never bleed”, were placed on cars parked along streets, in private lots behind buildings, and on the Noble County owned lot beside the Public Defender’s Office.
No one reported seeing the flyers being distributed, and Albion police who checked the area didn’t find anyone carrying the paperwork around. Several complaints were made to the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, but it’s uncertain if anything illegal was done beyond trespassing onto the private parking areas. Whether the KKK took advantage of the large gathering to avoid discovery, or to get their message to more people, or both, isn’t known.
At least one local resident took it upon himself to walk around the area, snatching the flyers off parked cars. Rumor has it they make good kindling.
The flyer contained a request for donations, and also an offer to provide the Klan’s newsletter for a $16 annual subscription. Otherwise, it was mostly a diatribe against homosexuality and illegal immigration.
No episodes of Klan related confrontations were reported during the Festival. Also on Saturday, Klan members and the National Socialist Movement held a gathering at the Antietam National Battlefield, site of the bloodiest single day of Civil War combat. It’s assumed that the irony of demonstrating on a monument to the fight for freedom was lost on the demonstrators.