May 23, 2012: People walk through a portion of the Boston Common covered with American flags. Relatives and volunteers planted the 33,000 flags in the historic park in advance of the Memorial Day weekend, in tribute to Massachusetts soldiers killed in conflicts as far back as the Civil War.AP Photo/Steven Senne
When selling the business of patriotism, put emphasis on the red.
A little over a week before America celebrates its 236th birthday, Wisconsin-based flag seller Liberty Flag & Specialty Co. filed for bankruptcy protection.
Running low on cash, the nine-employee shop located half a block south of Reedsburg’s Main Street immediately asked its bankruptcy judge for permission to spend the pools of money that it had promised to set aside for its lender, Community First Bank. The cash will keep the lights on at its headquarters as executives figure out if the company can find a way to survive using Chapter 11 protection.
Liberty Flag’s financial hardship, which is coming at the peak of the industry’s flag-selling season, raises broader concern about Americans’ sense of civic spirit.