Flag sales rise after death of bin Laden

By Karl Henkel


Americans showed their patriotism after President Barack Obama announced Sunday the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by taking to the streets in celebration.

In the days since, they’ve shown their patriotism in a different way — by buying USA-themed memorabilia, most notably American flags, according to Annin Flagmakers of Roseland, N.J., one of the largest manufacturers of flags in the United States.

Annin reported a 150 percent spike in sales Monday, partly because there is less than a month until Memorial Day — which along with Fourth of July is the biggest time for flag sales — and also because of increased patriotism, said Dale Coots, marketing manager.

Annin is commemorating the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 with two special flags: the flag of honor, which lists all victims of the terrorist attacks, and the flag of heroes, which lists the names of those killed during the cleanup process.

Coots said the company already has shipped a second run of the flags.

The trickle-down hasn’t yet hit some of the local flag shops, such as Western Reserve Flag Co. in Boardman and The Flag Store in Newbury in Geauga County, both of which reported business as usual as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Flag Store expects a boost in sales because of the bin Laden news, much as it did during the Gulf War and immediately after Sept. 11.

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