A company near downtown Huntsville, Alabama, that makes flags is getting flooded with orders for the Confederate flag.
Alabama Flag & Banner may be the the only flag manufacturer in the U.S. still making the rebel flag, reports AL.com.
The company began manufacturing the Confederate flag after many retailers pulled it from their shelves in 2015 because of a shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed by a white supremacist who was featured in personal photos holding a Confederate flag.
America’s major flag manufacturers have stopped producing the rebel flag, leaving Alabama Flag & Banner to fill the void for retailers and people still interested in obtaining American-made Confederate flags.
Demand is up after the recent racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the renewed debate over the place for statues and memorials commemorating the role of Southern leaders during the Civil War.
“We are shipping them as fast as we can make them and in the order in which they are received,” says a message on the company’s website.
Belinda Kennedy is the longtime owner of Alabama Flag & Banner. She told AL.com that people have different reasons for buying the Confederate flag but believes one motivating factor is that “people are afraid they may not be able to get it one day.”
After Charlottesville, Kennedy received more than a hundred orders in a single day and continues to get orders.
Kennedy is a Daughter of the Confederacy who in her office displays a double-frame picture of her two great-great-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War.
She doesn’t think Confederate monuments should be removed, but condemns white supremacy and doesn’t like to see the Confederate flag in the hands of neo-Nazis.
“That’s not what the flag is about,” she said. “You’ve got white supremacists, but then you’ve got people like me who are history buffs, pushing back and saying, don’t change history.
“When we start trying to rewrite our history, we are forgetting our history,” she said. “Does anybody really think by taking down monuments and renaming mountains and taking down Confederate flags, that we are really going to see racism end? That’s not going to fix it. That comes from inside of people.”
While demand for the Confederate flag has gone up, it’s still only a fraction of Kennedy’s business. Before she began manufacturing Confederate flags in 2015, she was able to order them from a larger manufacturer and would only make a small number of special orders annually. Since 2015, she has sold around 600-800 Confederate flags a year. The sell from $38.50 to $200, depending on how they are made.
Elsewhere, there are Chinese-made Confederate flags available and some individuals hand-sew the flags to sell online, Kennedy said.