Osama's Death Leads To Rise In Flag Sales

The orders started coming in just minutes after President Obama formally announced the death of Osama Bin Laden on Sunday night. People wanted their flags.

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"We got some pretty sizeable orders," said Bob Caggiano, vice president of sales for Annin Flagmakers, the largest US manufacturers of flags. "We probably shipped out two to three times as much as we usually do this time of year."

Because of the patriotism associated with slaying America's No. 1 enemy, Caggiano expects sales to be up 50 percent for the week. But it's a pretty steady business in general and these months (April through July) are already busy thanks to Memorial Day and July 4th.

The most popular American flag sold is the company's three-foot by five-foot nylon, which retails for about $30. But Caggiano said that the Flag of Honor, which lists the victims of 9/11 on a flag, was also a popular buy.

"Retailers told us that people didn't appear to be afraid to spend money, which is a good sign," Caggiano said. "Maybe killing (Osama) will change the face of the 9/11 anniversary business. People may want to honor the people who perished even more."

Despite the sales bump, Caggiano put things in context. After the September 11, 2001, Annin's American flags were backordered through June 30, 2002.


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