Local shops say the Confederate flag won't move from store shelv - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local shops say the Confederate flag won't move from store shelves

Confederate flag merchandise (Source: Many Noell WMBF News) Confederate flag merchandise (Source: Many Noell WMBF News)
WMBF News Reporter Mandy Noell views Confederate flag merchandise in Myrtle Beach (Source: WMBF News) WMBF News Reporter Mandy Noell views Confederate flag merchandise in Myrtle Beach (Source: WMBF News)
. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While businesses around the country refute the confederate flag and will stop stocking it on shelves, locally it is still flying high.

A week since the tragedy in Charleston, the American flag is at half-mast in Myrtle beach; a sign of mourning for the nine lives lost at Emanuel AME church.  Since Wednesday, two sides of a racially charged argument have emerged, a debate over where exactly the Confederate flag belongs in the state.

As major retailers withdraw the flag from shelves, there weren't any stores in Myrtle beach that said they plan to do the same.  In fact businesses said they're selling out of Confederate flags.

"Yeah, we've been selling more confederate flag stuff, definitely,” agreed David Rainwater with Xtreme Airbrushing in Myrtle Beach. “It's publicity. People want to show that they are for it or against it."

The streets of Ocean Boulevard, Kings Highway and beyond are lined with shops tailored to tourists looking for a keepsake, many of them full of Confederate flag merchandise.

As controversy spreads with Governor Nikki Haley's call for its removal from the State House, echoed by protestors across the country, the Confederate flag and pins have completely sold out from some stores. Supporters use the words "pride", "heritage", and
"history" to explain why the flag should stay where it is. As national retailers vow to stop carrying it, local businesses said they won't be.

"We're definitely still selling it,” Rainwater said. “We can, I feel like we should sell it to the people who use it in the right way. That aren't using it in hatred, that are using it as southern pride."

"Born and raised South Carolinian,” Chelsy Biggerstaff said. “So, the rebel flag, to me, is part of our history. In no way do we mean any disrespect towards any other person. Or would I want to shut down anyone
elses opinion of they feel about the flag or how it might make them feel.”

Even flag supporters said they acknowledge there are people who don't wear the flag to represent a sense of pride. "We aren't going to sell it to someone who's going to use it in hatred, or write something hatred-related on it or, you know, just discriminating
against someone," Rainwater said.

And both Rainwater and Biggerstaff agreed with the decision from places like Amazon, Walmart, Sears and eBay to stop stocking it in stores.

 "They don't want to be associated with hatred, no one does,” Rainwater said. “This is custom tee shirts. I can, I know
who to sell to and who not to. It's kind of like that. They just sell to anyone."

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