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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

 Pastor Martin Niemoller 1892-1984 (concentration camp prisoner WWII)


Is it time to take down the Statue of Liberty? In 2016 are we no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave? But instead the land of the fearful and the home of the afraid?

Since time began, people have used a variety of religions and scriptures to validated their bad behavior.  Hitler was an atheist and a fear monger. And yet he motivated a whole nation of professed Christians with propaganda and fear. Are Americans destined to be that part of history that repeats itself? I don’t want to be remembered for repeating that part of history.

Judge not lest ye be judged. American’s rape, rob, shoot, and bomb ourselves more than any outsider ever thought about.

There are lots of speculation about why this happens; lack of church in the schools, abandonment of dinner time with families, too many after school lock key children, over population, etc. I am a simple person and can’t begin to know the answer to such a complex social and criminal issue. I reconcile the problem with the knowledge that humans are flawed. You might simplify it even more and by thinking “Boys will be boys”. To that I respond “Women will be women”. Therefore, my arms are open to all that suffer and are oppressed.

I vote in 2016 to leave Lady Liberty standing tall and bright, a beacon for those to find their way to our shores, our land of opportunity that welcomed my ancestors, lest we fall into the lament of Pastor Martin Niemoller.

 

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Makeshift memorial after the ISIS attacks in Paris.

What does ISIS Want?

ISIS is not getting their message out.  What are their demands?  What is their objective? Does anyone know? If you poll your friends and neighbors you may hear, “to kill Westerners, or to kill Christians, or to kill Americans.”  But the fact is ISIS is an equal opportunity terrorist group.  They attack Europeans, Africans, Russians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.

The mainstream media seems to relish talking about religion and detailing the pain and suffering of those killed.  This type of “Shock Jock” reporting only inflates fear and panic in American citizens. It also reeks of Nazi Propaganda where the amoral Christians ignorantly marched Jews to their deaths. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, theologian, and martyr during WWII, “The moral right and pious are the sworn enemies of Christianity.”

ISIS’s killings and threats are symptoms of the problem.  But what is the problem? What does ISIS want? What is so compelling about their message that it inspires martyrdom? The first step to solving any problem is to identify it, then you can look for a solution. On PBS News Hour I learned ISIS’s funding comes from the sale of oil to all of us (they are rich), and their secondary funding comes from kidnapping and ransom.  But I still don’t know their objective.

We, the people, deserve our government and media to be accurate information sources. Religious posturing by our politicians, sensationalism by our media, and lack of transparency by our government is a threat to our freedom.

We live in the information age, yet we are uninformed. Tell us the problem so we the people can think together for a solution.  Don’t put a ring in our nose, so you can jerk our heads this way and that through sensationalized reporting and fear mongering speeches.

We have not forgotten the war in Iraq, that was reported and fueled by the corporations of America.

In an effort to be transparent I must confess, wars are generally good for the flag business.  I am also a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 2, and I pray for them a world of love and peace for all.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN --2/10/15-- Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ Flag and Banner was the recipient of the Betsy Ross Award from the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). FlagandBanner.com started as a one-woman company with McCoy handling all aspects of the business. That small flag business has grown to become a multi-million dollar success located in downtown Little Rock at 800 West 9th Street and now employs a staff of 25.Kerry McCoy is founder and president of FlagandBanner.com and publisher of Brave Magazine.

McCoy has been in the flag business for more than 40 years. If you would like Kerry McCoy for an interview or to speak at your event, please contact tammie@flagandbanner.com with details. 

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An Interview with Kerry McCoy owner of FlagandBanner.com

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Kerry talks with radio host about Confederate Flags, Rainbow Flags, censorship, the emotions of flags and about being in business for 40 years and how it has changed over the years.

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Delegate your way to Success

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delegate_it_infographic1By Kerry McCoy
Publisher

In order to expand your business, you must learn to delegate. It sounds easy enough, but most people have a hard time telling others what to do.
In the 80’s, when my daughter was young, I ran Arkansas’ Flag and Banner out of my home. When you are an entrepreneur working from home, your list of tasks and distractions are huge. You spend your day trying to balance domestic chores with income producing work. Most of the time, the chores win. It is easy to become scattered and, by day’s end, be exhausted having accomplished little.
Recognizing this production tug-of war, I decided to do a week-long time study. I broke my chart down into 15 minute increments and I kept the entries very brief. My categories included house cleaning, childcare, personal, selling, clerical, shipping and errands. What an eye opener to find I spent most of my day on unskilled tasks that did not earn any income. I was buried in busy work – not at all what I would have thought. My next challenge was to prioritize and decide what warranted my attention and time and what I could delegate to someone else. As a result, I hired a housekeeper. This took trust, faith in humanity and a little looking the other way (because no one cleans your home the way you do).
Next, I hired a receptionist to answer the phone while I went out selling. My sales went up. I hired clerical help, and my receivables turned around faster, which puts money in the bank. None of this came without angst about expenses, but with every hire, my productivity increased and I was able to cover the additional salaries and increase my income as well.
When my family grew to four children, I delegated grocery shoping and help with homework to housekeepers and tutors. This created more time for me to focus my attention on the work tasks that only I, the owner, could do. As a by-product, it created the quality time with my family that everyone is always preaching about.
Delegating did not come easily to me. I would lay awake nights worrying how I was going to tell my employee they needed to wash their hair before coming to work. Since AFB’s inception in 1975, my job description has morphed many times. Learning to be the interviewer and not the interviewee is scary. Learning to let go is not easy. I still remember the first time I hired a salesperson and heard her answer the phone. I had to sit on my hands and let her learn, the same way you sit on your hands when your children first learn to empty the dishwasher.
Moving from salesperson to boss of 25 people is exhilarating, hard, scary, fun, challenging and rewarding. I haven’t sold flags for over ten years. I spend most of my days managing employees and improving processes. One of my strengths is recognizing an employee’s strong suit and placing them in a position at AFB where they will be successful. Who would have thought?
So, if you start too many emails with “I am sorry I am just now getting back to you but I have been sooooo busy,” it may be time for you to GROW and learn to delegate.

This article was originally published in Brave Magazine Fall/Winter 2015 Edition. 

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We the sheeple…

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sheep
I am always amazed at the sheep-like mentality of humans. I first heard the word propaganda when I was about 12. It was being used in conjunction with WWII. I was aghast, and I asked my big sister, how can you get a whole nation of people to commit genocide against each other? The answer: propaganda, a fascinating word and concept. To think, humans are such sheep that we take whatever is told to us at face value without using our own reasoning powers.

One of the keys to my success is my ability to reason. I have learned to keep my emotions in check when making business decisions. That is why I am profoundly confused about all the Confederate flag propaganda. How do the sheep of America think the world news outlets latched onto this Confederate flag issue? Do you think World News Tonight, CNN and others just got together and decide to NOT talk about the gun that killed those churchgoers and to talk about the flag instead? Really? Are Americans so yoked by the news media that they will follow any lipstick-on-a-pig story?

Think America, how did the Confederate flag frenzy get started? Who has the power to feed all the media outlets in one day and have their story heard? Who doesn’t want to talk about the real issue, gun control? Who cares more about protecting their gun sales than healing race relations in America? Please people, learn to think for yourselves. Our country depends on Americans making informed decisions about important issues. The selling of Confederate flags is not an important issue. It is a coup for the media, a hot button, propaganda and a waste of good energy that could be put to making positive change in America.

Stop being sheep; they will walk off a cliff.

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Hello, I am Kerry McCoy

I want to thank the NAACP and Julius for coming out and exercising their First Amendment rights, just like I am. 40 years ago, I started my business on $400 and have lived the American dream. Today I continue to live that dream by selling flags and other patriotic items. Due to this morning’s Supreme Court ruling, I feel sure the gay pride flag will take the forefront in our sales. Such is the flag business.

To say that I am supporting racism is incorrect. I have given back to my community and black history by restoring a 20th century historically significant African American building on 9th Street in Little Rock AR. At my expense, I have co-published a book with UALR (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) about its heritage, and through my efforts a 2 hour AETN documentary is soon to be released. Without me this piece of history would have been torn down 20 years ago.

Like all retailers I know not what is in the hearts of any of my customers when they buy from me. Are they going to burn the American flag or fly it.

Like everyone in America I am deeply disturbed by the South Carolina events. Let us focus on the bigger picture, race relations. Who taught this kid to hate and why did he get a gun.

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The Power of Mass Media’s Influence on Confederate Battle Flag Debate

The Bonnie Blue Confederate Flag

Bonnie Blue Flag

The power of media to ignite the masses always amazes me.  All of this attention focused on the Confederate flag has had a reverse reaction. Rather than stopping sales, demand has skyrocketed. I have probably sold more Confederate flags in the last week than I have in the last 40 years.

Many of the buyers are not from the South and don’t even care about the flag itself. They’re just caught up on the idea that it might become obsolete, so they’re buying one to put in the closet, only to be discovered 30 years from now by their grandchildren.  As Carl Jung said, “What you resist, persists.”

The murderer that started this debate was holding a gun and brandishing the Confederate battle flag.  Aren’t we focusing on the wrong thing in this picture?  The flag did not kill anyone. Do I wish the white supremacist hadn’t adopted the confederate battle flag?  Yes, because then I could still pretend to be a teenaged rebel.  Do I wish the Tea Party hadn’t adopted the “don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag?  Yes, because then I could still fly it for fun without looking like I was supporting a cause.

But all of the above has happened.   Pick another Confederate flag to show your heritage.  Check out the Bonnie Blue, the Republic of West Florida flag that once served as a Confederate banner.  In Margaret Mitchell’s book, Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler named his daughter Bonnie after the flag. It is a lovely flag, and maybe it’s time it got its due.

We don’t want to forget history.  It is through our remembrance of history that we ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes.  More soldiers died during the Civil War than during the Vietnam War. To learn about the black soldiers who fought with the Confederacy, visit my sister building down the street, the Mosaic Templar Cultural Center at 9th and Broadway in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN --2/10/15-- Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ Flag and Banner was the recipient of the Betsy Ross Award from the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). FlagandBanner.com started as a one-woman company with McCoy handling all aspects of the business. That small flag business has grown to become a multi-million dollar success located in downtown Little Rock at 800 West 9th Street and now employs a staff of 25.

Kerry McCoy is founder and president of FlagandBanner.comand publisher of Brave Magazine. Kerry has been in the flag business for more than 40 years. If you would like Kerry for an interview or to speak at your event, please contact tammie@flagandbanner.com with details. 
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Round Up: Confederate Flag Controversy – Kerry McCoy Interviews

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The Confederate Flag

Kerry McCoy discusses Confederate flag sales

PHOTO BY AP / DANNY JOHNSTON

Here is a link to all of the stories that Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com has done in the last few days about the current Confederate Flag Controversy gripping America.

Star on Arkansas flag symbolizes time with Confederacy

KATV – ?Jun 22, 2015?
At Arkansas’ Flag and Banner in downtown Little Rock, President Kerry McCoy said their best selling merchandise is red, white, and blue; even the Confederate merchandise. McCoy said the ones who buy Confederate merchandise range from historical buffs …

As retailers toss Confederate flag, producers’ sales surging

Arkansas Online – ?7 hours ago?
“I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group; I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. “This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented, whether you are a history buff or a nut.” McCoy said …

Sales spike for Confederate-themed flags and pins

CNNMoney – ?18 hours ago?
“Somebody in Rhode Island ordered in 50 Confederate (lapel) pins,” said Kerry McCoy, owner of Flag and Banner in Little Rock, Arkansas. The order came in on Monday, when Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag …

Big retailers feel pressure on Confederate flag merchandise

Santa Rosa Press Democrat – ?1 hour ago?
Kerry McCoy, owner of Arkansas Flag and Banner in Little Rock, Ark., describes the demand for Confederate flag merchandise Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Major retailers are halting sales of the Confederate flag and related merchandise. (AP Photo/Danny …

Confederate flag still available in central Ohio

Columbus Dispatch – ?7 hours ago?
… themselves from the controversial banner and national retailers pulled Confederate flags, manufacturers that produce the divisive symbol say sales are surging. “I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, …

Confederate flag sales up for some

Press Herald – ?9 hours ago?
Van de Putte’s inventory also includes novelty flags and banners from the military and countries like North Korea. He estimates that nearly every flag in his store could be seen as objectionable by someone. Likewise, McCoysaid she frequently gets pressure …

Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart and Other Retailers Pull Confederate Merchandise

U.S. News & World Report – ?17 hours ago?
Confederate flag themed stickers are displayed at Arkansas Flag and Banner in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday. Major retailers including Amazon, Sears, … “I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell theflag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. “This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented whether you are a history buff or a nut.” McCoy said her company expects to sell about 50 of the flags over the next week. That’s about half of what they typically …

No halt to Confederate flag making as firms see sales surge

Omaha World-Herald – ?11 hours ago?
“I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. … Van de Putte’s inventory also includes novelty flags and banners from the military and other countries.

Big retailers pull Confederate battle flag. Will others follow?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – ?13 hours ago?
The flag style is among the assortment of historical banners in stock, a category that includes the 13-star Betsy Ross flag and the “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag from the Revolutionary War era. The store also carried flagsfrom different countries, sports flags and military banners. “Our policy is to be absolutely … I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of FlagandBanner.com. “This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented, whether you are a history buff or a nut.” Ms. McCoy said her …

Big retailers pulling Confederate flag merchandise

FOX 9 News – ?16 hours ago?
“I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. “This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented whether you are a history buff or a nut.” McCoy said her company expects to sell about 50 of the flags over the next week. That’s about half of what they typically … Van de Putte’s inventory also includes novelty flags and banners from the military and countries like North Korea. He estimates that nearly every flag in …

South Carolina pushes to remove Confederate flag

The Denver Post – ?11 hours ago?
I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. “This is America. … Van de Putte’s inventory also includes novelty flags and banners from the military and countries like North Korea. He estimates that nearly every …

As retailers pull Confederate merchandise, flag manufacturers see surge in sales

Richmond Times-Dispatch – ?21 hours ago?
… members in South Carolina, manufacturers that produce the divisive symbol say that sales are now surging. “I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag,” said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com.

Hillary Clinton: The Confederate flag should not be flown

Newstalk 106-108 fm – ?7 hours ago?
The alleged shooter in the attack, Dylann Roof (21) had posed for photographs with the secessionist banner. Mrs Clinton … Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com, told the Associated Press: “This is America. Everybody has a …

Confederate flag yanked by retailers

Times Colonist – ?5 hours ago?
Servos, who sells flags and manufactures custom-textiles like table cloths, banners and tent canopies at his Fort Street store, said it’s unfortunate some people “have adopted a historical flag as an inappropriate symbol of racism.” “There are appropriate uses for every historical flag,” he said. Even as retailers pull the flags, manufacturers that produce the divisive symbol say that sales are surging. Kerry McCoy of FlagandBanner.com, expects to sell 50 of the flags this week. That’s about half of what they typically sell in …

Major Retailers Ban Sales Of Confederate Flag

Sky News – ?22 hours ago?
Online retailer eBay said it would no longer sell the rebel banner through its website, as did Sears and Etsy. Amazon.com followed suit after purchases of the flag rocketed by more than 3,600% in just 24 hours. Walmart led the way on Monday saying it would …

Retailers Take Down Confederate Merchandise

MediaPost Communications – ?5 hours ago?
“I don’t sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag,” Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com tells the AP’s Tom Murphy. “This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented whether you are a history buff …

Wal-Mart removing Confederate flag items from stores, online

The Bell Jar – ?Jun 22, 2015?
At Arkansas’ Flag and Banner in downtown small Rock, President Kerry McCoy said their best selling merchandise is red, white, and blue; even the Confederate merchandise. Some Republican presidential candidates struggled to find a middle ground, …

EBay bans sales of Confederate flag on its site

Thrasher Backer – ?9 hours ago?
Even if the Confederate flag still flies Wednesday when mourners file past the coffin of state Sen. Van de Putte’s inventory also includes novelty flags and banners from the military and countries like North Korea. Likewise, McCoy said she frequently gets …
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The Confederate Flag

Confederate flag waving in the dark evening

Confederate flag waving in the dark evening

From the moment humans had consciousness of group identity,  people have been waving some type of flag to represent their clan, allegiance, and/or message.

In the last 40 years, since the inception of my business, I have seen much controversy over flags.  I get calls and emails from people that won’t patronize Flag and Banner because I sell the Rainbow flag, which has been adopted by the Gay Pride movement, or the Gadsden Flag “Don’t Tread on Me”, which has been adopted by the Tea Party movement and so on.  Interestingly, none of these flags originated for any of these purposes.  It now seems the haters of the world have adopted the Confederate Battle Flag.

We have all seen the picture of the murderer of 9 innocent people in South Carolina’s AME Church holding a gun and the Confederate Battle flag , as if to validate his actions and somehow show solidarity to the Old South.   Perhaps he should have brushed up on his history.  The honorable, valiant, southern gentlemen of the Confederacy were gallant men (black and white) fighting for their families and homes, maybe in error, but never in doubt.  Slaughtering innocent people because of the color of their skin was not their mission.

Wisdom teaches the injustices of the world cannot be understood and that you can’t change others.  So if the haters of the world insist on adopting the Confederate Battle flag,  let them have it.  There are 4 other Confederate Flags we can fly in honor and remembrance of our nation’s history.  South Carolina’s Capitol could replace the battle flag with the Bonnie Blue.  What a great name, what a great flag!   And talk about getting attention….  visitors to the capitol would be Googling  that flag and reading its history every day.  Now that is good publicity.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN --2/10/15-- Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ Flag and Banner was the recipient of the Betsy Ross Award from the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). FlagandBanner.com started as a one-woman company with McCoy handling all aspects of the business. That small flag business has grown to become a multi-million dollar success located in downtown Little Rock at 800 West 9th Street and now employs a staff of 25.

Kerry McCoy is founder and president of FlagandBanner.com and publisher of Brave Magazine. Kerry has been in the flag business for more than 40 years. If you would like Kerry for an interview or to speak at your event, please contact tammie@flagandbanner.com with details. 
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