CLAWSON (WWJ) – In the wake of the mass shooting in South Carolina, national retailers have stopped selling the Confederate flag. Now, a local business in metro Detroit is following suit, partially because of a threatening phone call.
At American Flag and Banner in Clawson, owner Jane Miles said her stock of Confederate flags is dwindling.READ MORE: MDOT: Final Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup Of 2021 Starts September 25
“It’s not like I’ve had a run on them since this, you know, like everyone wants one to make a statement or something,” Miles told WWJ’s Scott Ryan. “I might sell three a year. Often, after teenagers whose families vacation in the South come back and they saw the flag everywhere down there, they don’t even know the historical meaning of it, you know, they just think it’s cool. And we sell a couple to Civil War re-enactment troops. It’s not a big deal.”
But recently, the flag is drawing quite the controversy. It’s been pulled from shelves and websites across the nation after the shooting deaths of nine black church members in Charleston last week. The shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the Confederate flag.
“I did get a hate call a couple days ago,” said Miles. “A man said he’s always bought his flags from me, a lifetime customer, and do I have a Confederate flag in stock. And I said ‘Sure,’ and he said ‘What? Why?’ I said it was because it’s a U.S. historical flag, you know, I have one of all of them in stock. And he said ‘Well, you’ve got a dumpster out back, get it out there now.'”READ MORE: Invasive Species Found After Mid-Michigan Dam Failures
Miles said attacking the flag because of one person’s actions just doesn’t make sense.
“From what I understand, this flag was in a selfie picture [Storm] took. And then also on that same Facebook page he’s burning the U.S. flag and no one’s — obviously he hated America, not just parts of it — but no one is talking about the Stars and Bars or the third Confederate or the Bonnie Blue, I mean, they’re all flags of that era. The flag didn’t kill anybody. It wasn’t because of the flag,” said Miles. “This man who scolded me said the flag is tainted. And I’m thinking, name a flag that in some way is not tainted. I mean, what history of any country doesn’t have shame?”
But Miles’ hands are tied. Her supplier, New Jersey-based Annin, is discontinuing production of the Confederate flag.MORE NEWS: Recall Effort Launched In Alma After Migrant Housing Vote
“They figure it’s a no-win situation,” she said. “But it’s true — I don’t stock or make the swastika so I guess this will go that same road. Where is this going to end? We’re talking about changing our money and changing state flags all because of one nut. But I guess nuts change our world all the time.”