The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pennsylvania) reported that a self-described liberal tried to get products bearing the Gadsden flag at a Gettysburg souvenir store banned because he deemed those products propaganda. The Evening Sun quoted the liberal as saying the following:
“It isn’t sold in a historically relevant context,” said Paul Gioni, a battlefield enthusiast from Mahwah, N.J., who contacted the National Park Service and The Evening Sun after visiting the park recently. “This is blatantly political merchandise.”Yet The Evening Sun article reveals that Gioni’s charge is false on its face.
The nonprofit Gettysburg Foundation operates the bookstore and a spokeswoman said the Gadsden flag merchandise serves a goal of representing the broader context of American history. Furthermore, Cindy Small said, there remain connections between the Gadsden flag and fighting at Gettysburg.
“During the Civil War, the flag was used in some Southern states as a symbol of secession,” she said.
Federal regulations call for all merchandise sold at National Parks to be approved in writing by a park superintendent. At Gettysburg, the Gadsden flag merchandise has received approval from park officials, according to spokeswoman Katie Lawhon.