Vendor Selling Nazi Flag Kicked out of Bloomsburg Fair

BLOOMSBURG -- A picture posted on social media on Sunday showed a vendor at the Bloomsburg Fair displaying a huge Nazi flag. It created a firestorm of controversy that the fair took care of on Monday.

The Bloomsburg Fair president made the decision to kick out that vendor, Lawrence Betsinger, after fair officials found out he is a registered sex offender.

Betsinger did not want Newswatch 16 anywhere near his stand after we asked him about the flags.

Lawrence Betsinger

Lawrence Betsinger

But when we showed up at the stand, the Nazi flag was no longer on display. Fair officials confiscated 32 flags and two bandanas from Betsinger's stand, "Lawrence of Indiana," first thing Monday morning.

"Once we found out about it, we had no choice. It made a lot of people unhappy evidently," said Paul Reichart, Bloomsburg Fair president.

Reichart heard about the Nazi flag late Sunday night.

"Not the time, not the place. If it's for sale as a war souvenir or something like that, that's okay. But to display it publicly, no, very offensive to some people, including me," said Joe Lastovica of Wilkes-Barre.

"I'm not Jewish, but I can't imagine if I were what I’d think of that," said Barbara Lastovica.

Once fair officials found out the man running the stand is a registered sex offender, he was asked to leave the fair.

Betsinger was charged in 2007 with having child pornography. He was convicted a year later for writing obscene or sexual materials. That, combined with the flag solidified the fair's decision. Even so, not everyone agrees the Nazi flag is offensive.

"That's all part of history and they're not teaching history in school like they did when I was a kid, so if they get rid of all this stuff the kids are never going to learn anything,” said George Pifer of Berwick.

The fair president says since there are more than 1,000 vendors at the fair, it is hard to keep track of what they each sell and put on display.

To be fair, we want to point out that in that picture that was posted on Facebook, there was a Hillary Clinton sign hanging next to the Donald Trump sign.



    The real problem here is people are more worried about being offended than worried about an actual sex offender being allowed near children . A possible predator is at an event marketed towards and attended by a countless number of children. Is there potential other predators and sex offenders are currently working at the fair unnoticed by the public???????
    Business is not run by emotion . Stop crying about being offended. Give the guy a weird eye, walk by, and do not give his stand any of your hard earned money. Act like an adult and carry on.

  • Billtown

    I had to go through a background check just to sell soft pretzels and soda at my sons football game to people who have known me for over 10 years….yet he can come in from out of state and set up shop without any kind of background check? Sell what you want, I don’t care, If I don’t want it, I just won’t buy it…but to have an open door policy to anyone is a bit irresponsible by the fair. There should be some kind of background check in place for every vendor.

  • ...

    As a Trump supporter I think this guy is an embarrassment and actually does fit the deplorable description. I mean how stupid are you, do you really think you’re doing Trump any favors by putting his signs next to a Nazi flag and other stupid decal items? You’re just giving the liberal media more ammunition and I’m sure they’re salivating at the mouth with this one.

  • Jingo Jango

    “To be fair, we want to point out that in that picture that was posted on Facebook, there was a Hillary Clinton sign hanging next to the Donald Trump sign.”

    No, that’s a Hillary for Prison sign.


      Sorry, illegal el-scrantonio you just lost. Go back to your native country with all the other goons. Its past time we real Americans take back our country from illegals like you who want to turn the greatest country in the universe into another failed socialist regime. All Praise President Trump and Praise be to God!


      Imposter! Once our great President Trump builds the wall I am personally going to throw you over it! Its time to send the liberal scum and illegal imposters such as your self back to the places you came from. If you want a sanctuary city go do it back in mexico with all of your comrades you stinkin’ commie!

  • sara

    I think they need to do a better evaluation of people there letting in and what they are bringing yes you have over a 1000 vendors but I rather check everyone of them then to have this happen again and lose business, the guy isn’t right or wrong for what we did but I think the BBF needs to do a better job , I’m more concerned the fact there letting sex offenders in you really think everyone is going to put on there application that they are no how about doing some back ground checks, it’s sad more people are upset about the flag then BBF letting a sex offender around there children

  • the duke of all shiny metal objects

    Its pure coincidence that over 50 in her circles dies
    under mysterious circumstances, keep thinking that.

  • sparks1313

    Somebody needs to explain to that idiot Pifer that there is a world of difference in displaying it in a historical context vs selling it in a political fashion to promote anew what it stood for in it’s use in Nazi Germany.

    • Valfreyja

      While I’m not friend of BLM, neither they nor the gays tried to exterminate a whole race of people. When they do your silly hyperbole wont be clownish.

  • Garry Venegas

    Are you kidding me with how you ended this article. To be fair there was a Hillary flag hanging next to the Trump flag. This has nothing to do with Presidential Canidates but rather a flag of hate and a sex offender being around children. Maybe you should think about reporting on the main problem with what happened and not nonsense. Nikki Krize needs needs to go back to Journalism school.

  • Canniech

    The man was removed from fair grounds because he was a child predator. He is bound by law to stay away from places where children might gather, lets say a fair……Simple…. They went looking at the flags, checked him out, and found out his past. Much like getting pulled over for speeding and the police finding drugs, a gun, or body in the trunk. Several years ago was able to visit several of the extermination camps in Europe, and it changed me greatly. Still in thi country because of the constitution , a person is free to flag the flag of his choice, even if it represents , evil, vile human beings and all the horrific ways in which mankind can act. This is a perfect time for parents to talk and explain the camps and what evil men do…

    • Valfreyja

      Incorrect. This is not about freedom of speech because you don’t, and never did, have said freedoms in a private function. The Bloomsburg Fair is 100% allowed to censor ANYTHING they see fit.

      • Money!!

        Maybe they should do a better check on their vendors and their wares in the first place instead of taking anyone and everyone’s money who wants to rent a space!

    • Walter White

      You might want to review the Supreme Court decision in Chaplinski vs New Hampshire (1942) to see how the 1st Amendment does not cover hate speech.

      • Mandy

        There is no such thing as hate speech. Only protected speech whether you like it or not. You have every right to be offended but your offense is not my problem only your personal opinion. Too many died for our freedoms for the clueless and over sensitive to give them away.

  • Writer Girl

    His sexual deviance is an excuse to get the Nazi flag out of the fair. I have several Jewish friends and think the Holocaust was horrible, but I still think this guy has a right to sell a flag, even if it offends some, but I think the venue he chose was not the best one. Of course, some people think the Confederate flag represents hate, when it represented the total Civil War, not just slavery.

    • Valfreyja

      No he does not have a right to sell ANYTHING at a private function. Freedom of speech ONLY applies to the government.

  • Bill Hannick

    You can get one on Donald Trumps web site, along with his signature “Make America Great Again ” hats. (which, by the way are proudly now made in America. Oh and Russian flags are available as well, signed by Putin!!!

    • Chick

      Let us not forget how many Americans paid the ultimate price during WWII to ensure that this symbol and everything it represents would never again see the light of day. To support this sexual predators right to fly this flag is to spit on the graves of those who died in service.

    • Valfreyja

      I love how the alt-right movement has gone so far into crazy town that they think defending nazi propaganda is somehow the right thing to do.

      HINT HINT dummy: If you find yourself defending HItler or his machine, ya dun peed the bed.

  • WTH

    It’s never ok to display that evil symbol just for show! This guy is a low-life-loser-depraved-despicable-dirtbag! So he’sa neo-nazi-pedophile? Awesome.

  • me

    Awhhellno your name is offensive, you should not be aloud to display that. Clearly an attempt by a liberal that wants to control everything and have no freedom, to make trump look bad. Which he can do on his own. Funny showing the Hillary sign next to the trump sign would have had more meaning since she sought out Robert Byrd’s endorsement in 2008 a former high ranking member of the KKK.

  • Lenny kmsal

    This is America he has a right to sell a flag… What does being a sex offender have to do with having a stand??? I guess this man is scarred for life

    • Valfreyja

      No he does not have a right to sell ANYTHING in private functions. 1st amendment protections ONLY exist to defend you from the government. In private networks you NEVER had that protection. You can, and usually will be censored if your message run contrary to any standard they chose to set.

      Bother to actually know what rights you have before you speak about them and by god don’t you dare cast a vote until you do. Simpleton.

    • Oh Scandal

      Yeah, You’re right Tom. The reporters are simply acting like predators in a different fashion. I’m not defending the sex offender, but that doesn’t have a thing to do with this. It was brought up so that you and I could talk about it and embarass the guy. We are pawns in a war game in our daily lives.

      • Valfreyja

        Except it does because that’s what he was expelled for. He has a legal mandate to stay away from places children gather and the Bloomsburg Fair would frankly be monsters if they didn’t provide some basic safety to their patrons by KNOWINGLY permitting a sex offender to hang out in their private event.

    • papokergod

      Irrelevant? Um, that’s precisely why he was kicked out. Initially he wasn’t kicked out because of the flag. By law he’s not allowed to attend functions like this where kids can be around. It’s 100% relevant you Sandusky lover.

  • Freedom Fighter

    He had every right to sell those flags. Last time I checked, this is the USA where we have FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

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