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Pictures of a pickup truck with Trump flags were mistakenly not displayed at the Story County Fair, according to an Iowa mother.

Her son, Colton, entered three photos, but two were not displayed and none of his projects were listed in the entry results. Annie Fink posted about it on Facebook:

The photos were not displayed Wednesday-Friday. They were put out on Friday evening after Annie’s Facebook post.

While the fair told Annie it was a “mistake” the pictures were not displayed, Jess Soderstrum (Story County 4-H Youth Coordinator) contacted her prior to the fair and said:

“Colton’s photos were non-conferenced judged. He had two photos of a pick-up that had a political flag from the 2020 election race in the photo(s) (One black and white, one color). These two photos are not displayed in the Christy Hall exhibit building right now, but they were still judged and received a ribbon. They are not displayed because I am working with my Youth Program Specialist to make sure that they can be displayed, due to the flag pictured (bold text added by TIS)!”

Annie and her family went to the fair on Friday and saw the photos were not displayed. That’s when she posted them on Facebook. She was then messaged an apology for the “confusion.”

“I never heard from Annette on if the photos could be displayed or not, so they ended up back at the Ames Extension office,” Soderstrum said. “Please also know that the reason the photos being displayed was in question was not because they referenced a specific political party or President/Presidential candidate! I just wanted to be sure Story County 4-H was not breaking any display rules and was not sure what the 4-H rules were, which is why I asked Annette Brown (Youth Program Specialist). The photos are not on display right now due to an error in communication between Annette and I, which has been resolved!”

The third photo, which was displayed, was of a boy sitting on a piece of machinery – there were no flags on that photo.


Republican Rep. Dean Fisher cast doubt on the “mistake” explanation.

“Clearly it was not a mistake based on the email prior to the start of the fair,” he said. “Clearly the folks in charge owe this 4-H member not only a sincere apology, but also some compensation for violating his rights to exhibit his work. This kind of bias must not be allowed to continue or the fair must be stripped of all government funding supports and forgo its non-profit status.”