Thursday, September 13, 2001

America Attacked

Violet Gaspar, left, showed one of the American flags that
she sells at World of Flags to Nyle Hallman yesterday.
Hallman said she was getting it for her husband.

Isles express
patriotism by buying
American flags

Some stores across the state
sold out of flags in a few hours

By Janis L. Magin
Associated Press

A day after the United States came under two terrorist attacks, Hawaii residents snapped up American flags in a patriotic expression of support for the country.

"It's good for business, but it's sad the reason why," said Sri McKee, manager of World of Flags at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, which experienced a rush of business yesterday.

One hardware store on Kauai sold 34 flags in less than two hours after the attacks Tuesday and was out of flags by lunchtime yesterday.

"We've sold a ton of them," said Terry Caplan, owner of Island Ace Hardware in Princeville. "We're all sold out."

Mary Phillips, owner of Flags Flying in the Ward Warehouse, said she had received 10 phone calls inquiring about flags in the first 50 minutes her store was open yesterday. Four people came in and bought flags during that time, she said.

"They are wanting to display the American flag," Phillips said. "It's actually quite moving."

On Maui, Kay Deck's K-Deck Canvas in Wailuku is known more for awnings and pool covers than the flags she also sells, but somehow people found her.

"We don't sell flags every day," she said. But after a quiet morning, "the floodgates opened. I'll be out by the end of the day."

Flags n' Things in Aiea is in a light industrial area and not easy to find. Manager Terry Archibald said he received a number of calls yesterday from groups, including hotels wanting to give their guests handheld flags.

The people who came to his store were looking for flags to hang outside their homes, Archibald said.

"We have the chance to talk to our customers, so we know that's why they're here," he said.

Caplan said he did not normally sell this many flags at his store on Kauai's north shore.

"It's major unusual, and it should be," Caplan said. "I'm proud that people are buying flags.

"If I didn't lease, I would paint the American flag on my building," he said.

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