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Business booms for Confederate flag company

merchandise
Soren Dresch's Ruffin Flag Company has trouble keeping up with the demand for Confederate memorabilia.  

May 4, 2000
Web posted at: 11:18 p.m. EDT (0318 GMT)

CRAWFORDVILLE, Georgia (CNN) -- A converted old house in this sleepy Georgia town is home to a 10-year-old company that thrives on uproars.

Its main product: the Confederate battle flag. And whenever there is a flap over it, as occurred recently in South Carolina and Georgia, business soars, according to the owner, Soren Dresch.

"It's been fantastic. We've tripled our shipping in just one month," says Dresch, whose Ruffin Flag Company has five full-time employees and revenues of $750,000 a year.

Though the NAACP is urging tourists to boycott South Carolina until the Confederate flag is removed from the Statehouse dome, Dresch counts two African-Americans as employees at his thriving flag-supply business.

Every business day, Derrick Harris takes orders for the Confederate battle flag from all over the country. He packs the flags and ships them out. "I have no problem with that," says the young African American. "I'm just in it to make money."

He's worked at the flag business for six years, and he ran into some criticism from fellow African-Americans early on.

"I had problems with everybody wanting to jump on me, but I put a stop to that ... I just told 'em to leave me alone, and I don't see anything wrong with the flag."

Neither does the owner. This is a business to Dresch, not politics. He has other customers -- the Bahamas and Northern Ireland, for example -- but his bread and butter is Confederate memorabilia: license plates, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and, of course, flags.

Correspondent Brian Cabell contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Apologetic McCain calls for removal of Confederate battle flag from S.C. Statehouse
April 19, 2000
South Carolina Senate sends bill to remove Confederate flag to the House
April 13, 2000
Marchers want Confederate flag to fly again in Alabama
March 4, 2000
Thousands march against Confederate flag in South Carolina
January 17, 2000
Confederate flag summit ends deadlocked in South Carolina
January 14, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Ruffin Flag Company
NAACP

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