Rebel Flag for Sale on Amazon

Since a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 and major retailers like eBay and Wal-Mart yanked their Confederate flag merchandise from shelves, sales of the Stars and Bars have shot up. They’re now among the top five products making the biggest gains in sales rank on Amazon, according to the online retailing giant.

Ron Hammon makes a living hawking the rebel flag for sale at his roadside shop near Talladega, Alabama, and on his Proud Rebel website. The seller of T-shirts and trinkets says he sells primarily to people interested in Southern heritage and history. But he’s not without critics, including those who see the Confederate symbol as an expression of hate and racism.

“Exploring the Market: Rebel Flag for Sale and Its Cultural Implications

Until recently, the rebel flag was a pop icon of country life and youthful rebellion divorced from its historical context. It adorned lunch pails, high school sports team uniforms and album covers, was flown by truckers and motorcycle riders and was seen on the popular TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

But the dam burst this week when some major retailers, including Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart Stores and Sears, decided to yank their Confederate flag merchandise, blaming it for the rising tide of anti-racism sentiments in the wake of the Charlottesville protests. Some smaller sellers, including Castello, a Texas-based company that has been selling Confederate flags for more than two decades, have also pulled their merchandise. Others, like Annin Flagmakers, the oldest and largest flagmaker in the United States, say they’ve stopped producing Confederate flags but will continue to sell the existing stock, which goes mainly to Civil War re-enactors.

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