Saskatoon store pulls Confederate flag from shelves
Store owner says many buyers don't think of racial connotations to flag
The owner of a Saskatoon flag store has boxed up all her Confederate flags, and won't be selling them any time soon.
Last week, nine people were shot and killed in a historic church in South Carolina. The man charged in the murders, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, had been photographed holding the Confederate flag, and is linked to racist online rants.
"(Roof) used the Confederate flag for a certain reason," said The Flag Shop owner Judy Denham. "He had a connotation associated with it, and he used that flag to make a statement."
Denham said she normally sells between 8-12 of the flags every year. She said the majority of the people who buy Confederate flags at her store don't connect the image to the flag's past.
"They see it as a fun Dukes of Hazard, road-running type flag, and that's why they buy it," she said. "We sell it to a twenty-something group, and they don't know the historical background of what that flag has meant to the people in the south, in the past."
Even still, Denham wants to make sure that none of her customers are using the flag to promote racism.
"I don't want people to come in and use it for the same reason (Roof) did."
After Denham made her decision, the president of the national The Flag Shop chain ordered all Canadian stores to remove the flag from all of its store shelves. All online orders and production of new Confederate flags have been stopped.
The chain will allow stores to sell Confederate flags under special circumstances, like school plays or to well-known flag collectors.
This weekend, protestors in South Carolina called for the traditional Confederate battle flag to be removed from the state capitol grounds, where it currently flies.