US flags flying off shelves ahead of July 4


As Independence Day nears, some are struggling to keep up with the demand Old Glory.

A U.S. Flag flies during sunset on the National Mall in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – We have seen numerous shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the latest shortage may put a damper on July 4.

President Joe Biden has set the Fourth of July as the benchmark to return the nation to a sense of normalcy for the summer. Part of that benchmark is reaching 70% of U.S. adults being partially vaccinated by Independence Day.

And with many states – including Utah – experiencing a widespread drought that is sparking bans on fireworks for July 4, Americans may be turning to other ways to celebrate the birth of our nation, like buying a US flag.

The CEO of Utah-based Colonial Flag, Paul Swenson, tells ABC4 in the 43 years they have been in business, there have been times when US flag sales have spiked.

During the Gulf War in the 90s, specifically Desert Storm, following the 9/11 attack, and amidst the Olympics, US flag sales increase. Swenson said there was even a rise in sales leading up to the 2020 elections.

Swenson says they are seeing a spike unlike any other ahead of the Fourth of July.

On Tuesday, Swenson reports a key manufacturer even announced they would not be taking orders for flags until further notice due to the volume of backorders.

Thankfully, Swenson tells ABC4 that Colonial Flag anticipated the spike and order six times the normal order to keep flags on the shelves through Independence Day.

So if you are planning on buying a new US flag – or maybe two – before July 4, be prepared for a shortage.

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