Stitches

Industry Suppliers Halt Confederate Flag Sales

In the wake of the June mass shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, SC, flag makers in the promotional products industry have decided to stop selling Confederate flags. Quinn Flags (asi/80228), Eder Flag Manufacturing Co. (asi/51678), Valley Forge Flag Co. (asi/93250) and Annin Flagmakers (asi/36256) are among the companies that have pulled Confederate flags from their stocks.

“It’s morally and ethically appropriate to make this announcement showing that the historical symbolism of this flag needs to be just that – history,” Matthew Quinn, president of Hanover, PA-based Quinn Flags, said in a statement. Oak Creek, WI-based Eder Flag released a statement expressing similar sentiments.

Mary Repke, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Annin Flagmakers, says the Roseland, NJ-based company has halted all sales of the Confederate Battle and Confederate Field Artillery flags in all sizes and materials. “Flags are very powerful symbols, and these flags have come to represent a very negative aspect of our nation’s past,” she said.

The decision has drawn a mixed response. “We’ve had an equal amount positive and negative reaction,” Repke says.“Some of our customers told us they would have done the same thing, and others haven’t been happy. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But we have the right to manufacture or not manufacture particular flags.”

Overall, Confederate flags were a small portion of industry flag makers’ business, with most purchased by historical reenactment groups or historical associations, manufacturers say.