Confederate flags are flying off the shelves, according to a new CBS News report.
CBS spoke with Belinda Kennedy, the owner of Alabama Flag & Banner about the uptick in sales.
Demand has risen even more “dramatically within in the last 24 hours,” ever since an interview about the shop was published at AL.com and as Confederate monuments across the country come down or are under debate, said owner Belinda Kennedy. who opened her Huntsville, Alabama shop in 1985.
“`What’s really pushing sales [now] is removal of the monuments,” Kennedy told CBS MoneyWatch. “The general feeling I get from customers that call and email is that they are just pushing back at people who are trying to revise our history. I think as long as that’s in the news” demand will continue.
Major U.S. flag makers stopped producing Confederate flags two years ago following a surge in orders after now-convicted shooter Dylann Roof went on a rampage at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“Flags are very powerful symbols, and clearly this flag has become a symbol of a negative aspect of our country’s past,” Repke said. “For some people, it represents something very negative and hateful.”
Once the major flagmakers stopped producing the Confederate symbols, sales climbed at Alabama Flag & Banner. Nevertheless, Kennedy said Confederate flags remain a fraction of its revenue, and that the “U.S. flag is always king.”
Alabama Flag & Banner’s customer base now includes the mom-and-pop stores that can’t get a U.S.-made flag elsewhere, bolstering demand. Some Chinese companies make Confederate flags, but most places want to buy American-made, she said.
Kennedy said she isn’t adding to her staff of 14 flagmakers just yet, though the shop is considering extending hours to meet demand this weekend.