Despite the controversy over monuments and the deadly rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, there has been a surge in the sale of Confederate flags, CBS News reported.
Belinda Kennedy, owner of the Alabama Flag & Banner shop in Huntsville, Alabama, said sales have been brisk. She said sales spike even more “dramatically within in the last 24 hours,” since an interview about the shop was published at AL.com.
“What's really pushing sales [now] is removal of the monuments,” said Kennedy, who opened her shop in 1985. “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.
Most U.S. flag makers stopped producing Confederate flags two years ago, CBS News reported, when sales surged after Dylann Roof went on a shooting rampage at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, convicted of killing nine people, was sentenced to death in January.
Annin Flagmakers stopped making the Confederate version after the shootings, Mary E. Repke, senior vice president of sales and marketing, told CBS News in an e-mail. They were a tiny portion of sales and went primarily to Civil War re-enactors, she added.
"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."
"To me, removing monuments and flags is not a solution," Kennedy told CBS News. "If the intent is to combat racism, that's clearly not going to do it, because we did all that two years ago shortly after [Roof] shot all those poor innocent people in the church. And I think we have a bigger racial divide than what we did two years ago."