OAK CREEK — The board of directors of Eder Flag Manufacturing Company in Oak Creek has decided to no longer sell or manufacture the Confederate flag.
In a statement, the company says:
“Eugene Eder, the company’s former long-time owner, fought in World War II against the forces of bigotry, hatred and tyranny. Mr. Eder’s primary reason to own and operate Eder Flag after serving in the U.S. Navy was to produce American flags, a symbol of freedom and opportunity.
The recent events in Charleston, S.C. and motivating factors behind those events, coupled with Mr. Eder’s legacy led to our decision to no longer manufacture or sell these types of flags.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in Charleston. Our hope moving forward is that all communities are able to live together in unity so that everyone can experience the freedom and opportunity for which Mr. Eder and so many other veterans fought.”
Eder Flag Mfg. Co., Inc. has become the largest flag company in America that serves as both a flag and flagpole manufacturer.
Should all statues of Confederate figures as well as mascots and banners associated with the Confederacy be retired?
That’s the question members of Congress are being confronted with a day after the move by South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds.
The mass shooting of nine African-American worshippers in Charleston last week by an avowed white supremacist whose website shows him posing with the Confederate flag has highlighted what opponents of the banner see as the heritage of hatred it represents.
Companies like Walmart, Ebay and Amazon have announced plans to ban the sale of Confederate flag merchandise, but what state and local governments and other organizations will do with these and other Confederate symbols is still unclear.
Meanwhile, Confederate-themed merchandise is suddenly hot.
Small stores are seeing a spike in orders just in the last couple of days, even as big box retailers Walmart, Sears and eBay are vowing to stop selling the stuff.
“Somebody in Rhode Island ordered in 50 Confederate (lapel) pins,” said Kerry McCoy, owner of Flag and Banner in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The order came in on Monday, when Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol.
McCoy’s sales Confederate flags also spiked.
“We sold 20 today and we would normally sell none,” she said.