Virginia Flaggers see uptick in Confederate flag sales at tomato festival

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Betty Foster, who has been visiting the Hanover Tomato Festival for years, usually visits the Virginia Flaggers' tent to purchase a Confederate battle flag at the festival.

However, with the recent controversy surrounding the flag, Foster said she had never seen the tent as busy as Saturday, even with the heavy rainfall.

"Never," said Foster, "I've never seen a booth as busy as it is today."

Foster said with everything happening, it seems to be making people want to purchase the flags even more.

confedflag2 "I think this is our heritage," said Foster.

Grayson Jennings with the Virginia Flaggers said by mid-morning the group was already running low on flags.

"People are scared they are going to ban the flag, and everyone wants them," he said.

However, despite the crowds of people buying the flags, some say it has them concerned.

"The Confederate battle flag is part of Hanover county and our nation's history. The flag represents a deeply shameful period for our nation, and the harmful, hateful effects of that time are still felt today by African Americans and the nation as a whole. This symbol of hatred and intolerance does not belong in our public spaces, or on government property," said Robert Barnette with Hanover County NAACP.

Barnette said the Hanover NAACP supports banning the display or sale of the flags.

Still, Jennings said they had no complaints at Saturday's festival.

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