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Toilets added to controversial confederate flag display in Harrison

Confederate flag, toilets
Posted at 11:29 AM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 11:29:44-05

HARRISON, Ohio — An already controversial display in Harrison is causing even more uproar as the property owner who placed a Confederate flag on the side of the road added more elements to his display: toilets.

Residents said they were in disbelief earlier this month when they saw a Confederate flag with a "Welcome to Harrison, Ohio" sign off Harrison Avenue.

"What’s going on with Harrison? What’s Harrison really thinking? Are they trying to push people out of here?" lifelong resident Wayne Johnson told WCPO after he first spotted the sign.

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Now, drivers have noticed 26 toilets added to the display — some with the words "Council," "Clerk" and "Mayor" written on them.

"If he's trying to get attention, he's doing a really great job at it," Corey Taylor said.

That's not the only display. A smaller Confederate flag, sign and group of toilets sit on the other side of the property, too.

Harrison Mayor Ryan Grubbs said because the display is on private property, it falls under the citizen's right to free speech. Still, he said in a statement, "The city does not condone any message that the property owner is trying to convey."

Grubbs said the city is looking into whether the display breaks any zoning codes.

Community members had mixed reactions to the display on Monday.

"Having some kind of tie to it if you're a southern state, a little bit more understandable, but up here, you know what you're doing," Taylor said. "You're representing something that doesn't necessarily need to be represented."

For some, the toilets were the most confusing part.

"The flag wasn't so much shocking, it was the toilets, which I don't understand the relevancy to it," Danny Bungo said. "But it's disgusting."

WCPO reached out to the property owner on Monday to learn the reason behind the display but has not heard back.

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