Local News

Confederate flag remains a huge seller for Clayton store

Posted July 9, 2015 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2015 7:12 p.m. EDT

— Many national retailers have pulled the Confederate battle flag from their shelves and websites, but one Clayton store not only continues to sell the controversial item, but it’s one of its best sellers.

Eric Stallings, a manager at GI Joe’s Army Surplus, said he isn’t selling the items to make a political point.

"I don't have an agenda," he said. "I don't have a hate or really a love for the flag. I have a love for keeping the lights on. If my customers want it, that is what I am going to get them."

The store sold 37 Confederate battle flags in 2013. In the last three weeks, Stallings said sales have nearly tripled last year’s totals.

Pattie, who did not want to give her last name to WRAL, said she understands why many people consider the flag a symbol of hate, but she sees the flag differently.

"People have different views, and everyone has their own way of thinking and stuff," she said. "I wanted to get a part of history. They are changing it so quickly."

The store used to order the flags from three different vendors, but two of the vendors are no longer making the flag. The Army surplus store now relies on a company in Texas for shipments, Stallings said.

"It's only a matter of time and you won't be able to find them anymore," he said.

Due to the high demand, Stallings has instituted a two-flag limit per customer.