BLOOMSBURG -- An activist wanted to put heat on the Bloomsburg Fair by burning a flag, but not an American flag.
Gene Stilp, originally from Wilkes-Barre, set a two-sided flag bearing both Nazi and Confederate symbols on fire Friday outside the Columbia County Courthouse.
The Nazi and Confederate flags, he believes, stand for the same things.
"Racism, bigotry, hatred," he said.
Stilp says he burned the flags because the Bloomsburg fair does not allow vendors to sell Nazi flags, but Confederate flags are allowed.
Last year at the fair, a vendor was kicked out for selling a Nazi flag.
There's no law that prohibits the sale of the confederate flag. Bloomsburg Fair officials have always allowed their vendors to sell it, so the sales will continue.
Stilp calls this protest an educational effort.
"That has nothing to do with Nazis," he said.
But others who showed up in counter-protest feel differently.
"They're two different flags," Phil Curland of Benton said. "Americans died for the Confederate flag. They fought against the Nazi flag."
"He's not out here burning a flag of ISIS," David McElwee of Bloomsburg said. "He's not out here burning a Russian flag, a Red China flag, a communist/Antifa flag. He's burning an American Confederate flag."
Stilp says he made the double sided flag by hand, but notes it was "a very disgusting task."
When he set the flag on fire, it burned fast. Stilp showed the Nazi side first, and then the Confederate side.
Mark Johnson of Berwick came to show support for the protest.
"This type of nonsense has no place in today's society," he said.