At the factory, located in Khomein, a town about 200 miles southwest of Tehran, workers print the flags by hand, then hang them up to dry. In its busiest periods, the factory produces around 2,000 flags per month, and more than 1.5 million square feet of flags annually, Reuters reported.
The high sales coincide with a time of increased hostilities between Iran and the United States. The two countries have been at odds since President Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal, a pact between Iran and Western nations that promised eased sanctions in exchange for the Islamic Republic curbing its nuclear ambitions.
Tensions mounted to an all-time high earlier this month after an airstrike, authorized by President Trump, killed Iran’s top military commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Days later, Iran retaliated by launching missiles on military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops. The attack caused no deaths, but multiple soldiers were treated for traumatic head injuries.
Burning U.S., Israeli and British flags has long been a hallmark of Iranian demonstrations, a practice that the factory’s owner, Ghasem Ghanjani, insists is a statement against the governments of these countries, not its people.
“The people of America and Israel know that we have no problem with them. If people burn the flags of these countries at different rallies, it is only to show their protest,” he told Reuters.
A quality control manager cited by the outlet said burning flags is minimal compared to the “cowardly actions of the United States, such as General Soleimani’s assassination.”