Major Retailers Ban Confederate Flag, Small Business Owners See Sales
June 25, 2015 11:13 am
Following the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in
Charleston, South Carolina, the Confederate flag has been under heavy fire.
Less than one week after nine parishioners were shot to death, the South
Carolina legislature voted to debate removing the Confederate flag from its
State House grounds. Republican Senator Rand Paul backed the removal of the
flag, saying it is “inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery” as
well as a reminder of the horrific massacre in Charleston.
In Virginia, Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe ordered that the Confederate
flag no longer appear on license plates. Political leaders in Maryland,
North Carolina and Tennessee promised to do the same. In Mississippi, the
state’s Republican House speaker Philip Gunn called for taking a
Confederate battle cross off the upper corner of his state’s flag. In
Alabama, Republican Governor Robert Bentley ordered removal of the
Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds in Montgomery.
Major retailers, including Walmart, Ebay and Sears, have also banned the
Confederate flag. Banning the Confederate flag, however, has caused one
But now small, independent stores which still sell the merchandise have
been surprised with an unexpected consequence—a massive spike in sales.
CNN Money has been actively tracking and interviewing stores that sell
the items, such as Flag and Banner, based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Owner Kerry McCoy has been surprised:
“Somebody in Rhode Island ordered in 50 Confederate (lapel) pins”
“We sold 20 (flags) today and we would normally sell none.”
Another small business owner, Freddie Rich, who runs the Rebel Store in
North Carolina, said that sales are “unbelievable right now. This is
something I never envisioned.”
He has sold nearly 200 flags in 24 hours, and included this message on
The message reads:
“We appreciate your support during this terribly sad time while the
intolerant, the mean spirited, and the uneducated attack our Proud Southern
Heritage with a vengeance.
Sorry – we have sold out. Thank you so much – our faith in the South
has been renewed!
If you have already placed an order with us – please be patient and
rest assured that we are working as quickly as possible to get your order
out to you and we will send an email as soon as we ship with the tracking
information. We have received over 3,000 orders in less than 24 hours, when
a good day for us is 20 orders in 24 hours. We are filling them and shipping
in the order in which they were received.
As soon as we are ‘caught up’ with the backlog, we will again have the
website back up and running.”