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story.lead_photo.caption Kerry McCoy stands in Arkansas Flag and Banner in Little Rock. (AP / DANNY JOHNSTON )

A Little Rock-based flag business said sales have increased 50 percent in part because of increased demand for the Confederate flag after other retailers stopped selling it.

Arkansas Flag and Banner, which is located on West 9th Street in downtown Little Rock and also operates an online store, said in a statement Tuesday that overall sales — including the Confederate flag and other products — were up 50 percent in June and July. New customers were up 63 percent.

“The day [Wal-Mart] and Amazon discontinued the sale of confederate flags, my internet business exploded with orders from all across the country,” owner Kerry McCoy wrote in the statement.

McCoy estimated the business sold some 2,000 Confederate flags during the stretch, up from maybe 50 it typically sells in a year's time. She said that flag was the best-seller for the period, though higher sales on non-Confederate affiliated, more expensive products actually generated more revenue.

The business also added two new employees during the stretch, bringing its total staff to 22.

McCoy defended her decision to sell the flag even as other retailers stripped it from shelves, saying it's a freedom-of-speech issue for a business that specializes in flags.

"When your core business is selling flags, you can't stop selling flags to any group of Americans," McCoy said. "Because it's your core business ... I don't fly the Confederate flag; I don't have any intention of flying the Confederate flag. But that doesn't mean I'm into censorship. I'm in the business of selling flags."

McCoy likened it to the gay pride flag, which she said some religious groups have asked her to stop selling. She said she has declined to do so.

"That's just the business of the flag business," McCoy said.

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Archived Comments

  • mitchstoner
    August 18, 2015 at 11:51 a.m.

    I would say that offering both Confederate flags and Gay Pride flags makes for an interesting customer mix. Congratulations to this business owner for letting common sense rule.

  • mrcharles
    August 18, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

    ONE DAY BOTH SIDES WILL UNDERSTAND REAL MARKETING AND SO NEW ABOMINATIONS WILL APPEAR SO THAT BUSINESSES BEING DISCRIMINATED WILL HAVE A READY CUSTOMER BASE COME BAIL THEM OUT.

    WHO KNOWS PERHAPS THIS BUSINESS OWNER WAS ONE STEP AHEAD AND GOT PEOPLE STIRRED UP HERE IN ARKIE LAND AND MADE A KILLING.

    UNCLE JOE IS THINKING ABOUT THE DISCRIMINATION HE IS FACING FOR NOT SELLING SHRIMP AND SCALELESS FISH . WHILE HE DOESNT WANT ALL THE FUSS, HE MAY HAVE TO ANNOUNCE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC UNLESS THEY COME IN AND BUY HIS NON-SHRIMP PRODUCTS AND FISH WITH SCALES, HE MAY HAVE TO CLOSE HIS STORE. WILL KEEP ALL POSTED ON THIS POSSIBLE TRAGEDY. HE SAYS HE IS EVEN IN FAVOR OF BURNING WITCHES IF NECESSARY.

    i AM SURPRISED THE confederate flag of treason buyers could divert their cash from their beer buys to make the purchases, but then realized with school starting they probably just put off buying new shoes for their children. Which is more important heritage or new shoes for children?

    ISN'T AMERICA GREAT!

  • Fdworfe
    August 18, 2015 at 3:27 p.m.

    What else could we expect. Book-burning, no matter how great or small the merits of the printed work may be, simply does not work in a truly free society. Flag-burning enjoys pretty much the same sentiment. In the land of the Taliban where unrestrained fist-waving fanaticism reigns, tradition and statue destruction has some kind of appeal that the Western world cares not to comprehend. In fair sum, this idea of making everyone happy every minute on every issue, is a fantasy that will be forever unfulfilled. But personal responsibility is the next best choice. Without personal responsibility, freedom and equality works about as effectively as a three-leg cow in a stock race.

  • TheGoodGuy
    August 18, 2015 at 3:41 p.m.

    mrcharles, I have a couple of things for you.
    1) STOP TYPING IN ALL CAPS. YOU LOOK LIKE A MORON!
    2) Your comments really don't make a lick of sense. You sound like a typical internet troll or spam bot going around making nonsensical remarks on a page.
    3) How does the Confederate flag have ANYTHING to do with treason??? And what is a "treason buyer"???
    .
    You, sir, are a complete moron. Please crawl back into the swamp you came out of and don't come back out.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Fdworfe, your remarks make little to no sense, as well. Where have you two dumbasses come from? "What else could we expect" is about the limit of your comments that make any sense. Of course I expect a business owner that wants to continue running their business to do things to continue to stay in business. I mean, just because every other store in the country responds to knee-jerk reactions by the public doesn't mean this lady has to. She likes to eat, have electricity, have healthcare, and all the other things associated with running her own business. Of course she is going to continue to do things like sell the items that is the bread and butter of her business. One would have to be a complete moron to stop selling things that you built your business off of. "I sell shoes for a living, but people hate this one type of shoe, so I am going to stop selling that kind of shoe even though most people still want it." That's about as stupid as can be.
    .
    .
    You two just need to shut the heck up. Go write a letter to your Republican congress people that you love so much.

  • mitchstoner
    August 18, 2015 at 4:17 p.m.

    Fdworfe, I understood you completely.

    mrcharles, you too, though as always I hate to give you props or even acknowledge that you are here.

    WowReally, you are one confused dude. Too much time logged in on the bong?

  • 3WorldState1
    August 18, 2015 at 4:19 p.m.

    Of course sales went up. Racist stick together.
    They have every right to sell the flag. And they have every right to buy it. That's what 'Merica's about.
    But they fact remains. The buyers are either racist, ignorant if history or both. You want a flag for your "tradition" we have the Arkansas flag.

  • mitchstoner
    August 18, 2015 at 4:53 p.m.

    People collect stuff. Buying a Confederate flag hardly proves they are racist.

    I like old military rifles. Does buying a WW II German Mauser prove I'm a Nazi? But wait! I have WW II Russian Mosin Nagants. Guess that proves I'm a Commie! But wait! My Japanese Arisaka proves I'm a Japanese Imperialist.

    And there's a great big peace symbol pendant necklace hanging on a wall in my den. What the... I must be a hippie.

    Or maybe you should just stop jumping to ridiculous conclusions.

  • mrcharles
    August 18, 2015 at 5:20 p.m.

    Remember on the episode of the Waltons when the big rally was to burn books in German. Right in the middle of the burning it was realized that the majority of the books in german were the bible. Though we know the german bible scholars sure caused a lot of confusion thereafter.

    i take offense as to my typing. If Caps were not allowed then my computer would not have them and I am not so sure that my religious freedom allows Caps- save that discussion for another day. That is extremely too touchy. Also fdworfe tries to bring calmness here, so Wow you may just need to calm down.

    Mitch , we can start a cuzz jar. Everytime we really get upset of opinions , way past normal. we can just , for conscience sake send money to our favorite charity. I use Children's Hospital, even though a lot of their parents are what some would call the 47% people. And while I sincerely belief in that charity as a sheep and goat thing, I must confess that , knowing those on the right probably get irritated on this, it gives me some satisfaction. There, I admit it, I am not perfect. MITCH, ALSO WOW IS NOT REAL, HIS SPIRIT JUST LIVES UNDER A BRIDGE. IT, CAN BE IGNORED.

    Anyway I digress from the main point, the free market on selling flags should be respected , which I have espoused since the start of this incident of "confederate flag of treason" discussion started [ so you can still be a buyer of that kind of flag], good for Kerry. You can be for freedoms, as I know the right would like to dictate a one world world where freedom is taken away, so we must respect even KNUCKLEHEADS freedoms. I do know some southerns with their heritage flag pride told the aryan nation skin head types with their flags of german pride to go back home where they came from, since their daddies and granddaddies fought those german pride people. So even confederate flag people have their limits , I guess.

    AXZSQWEERTDFCVBGTYYUHJBNMIOLKJMPOKL and your little dog too.---Just kiddin.

  • wolfman
    August 18, 2015 at 8:46 p.m.

    Congrats on not giving in political correctness. This is America. You should be able to sell anything legal you want and wave any kind of flag you want.

  • tngilmer
    August 18, 2015 at 10:38 p.m.

    The quickest way for the government to promote something is to try to ban it and tell you it is bad. See Prohibition and Pot.

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