Despite attempts to shame Confederate history and symbols, sales of Confederate flags are booming, AL.com reports.
Alabama Flag & Banner in Huntsville, Alabama is doing its best to meet the demand. It’s receiving up to 100 orders a day.
Other manufacturers stopped producing the flag after the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina and the subsequent decision by then-governor Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol building. Orders came streaming into the Flag & Banner store.
After violence in Charlottesville and talks about removing historic monuments that are tied to the Confederacy, there was another increased in demand for the flags, says the shop’s owner Belinda Kennedy.
“After the church shooting Amazon and Walmart stopped selling [the flag] and people were afraid they wouldn’t be able to buy it,” she told AL.com. “And then you started seeing streets renamed, schools being renamed, mountains being renamed. And then people started getting angry. And then there’s another surge.”
On average, the store has manufactured between 600-800 Confederate flags since 2015. Previously, they acted as more of middle-man, obtaining flags for clients from larger manufacturers.
There are some cottage industries producing hand-sewn Rebel flags. China got into the act years ago, producing cheap knock-ups that are available in some souvenir stores.
For the Civil War enthusiast, a historically-accurate Confedeate battle flag must be square in design and made from cotton: flags were not made from silk and certainly not polyester from 1861-65, the years of the Civil War. The genuine article can cost between $93-$200 Kennedy says. A screen-printed flag goes for $38.50 while the Chinese article costs less than $20.
As political correctness makes it more difficult to buy, own, or display a Confederate flag, more people want to buy them to show their political independence.
“Everybody’s got a different reason [for buying],” Kennedy said. “By and large, I think people are afraid they may not be able to get it one day.”
Kennedy contends that the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage, not hate.
“When you’ve got people like the Ku Klux Klan and these neo-Nazi groups, the white supremacists, when they hijack the flag, that should be a crime,” she said, “because that’s not what the flag is about. But that’s what makes people so vehemently, adamantly opposed to the flag.”