RUSSIA + UKRAINE

Utah flag makers try to keep up with demand for Ukrainian flags

Mar 11, 2022, 5:30 AM | Updated: 1:32 pm
Ukrainian flags...
Utahns are using flags to signal their support for Ukraine. The demand has flag makers working extra just to try to keep up. Photo credit: Jacob Rueda.

SANDY, Utah — With the war in Ukraine taking place, people want to show their support for the people of that country. One of the ways they’re showing support is by displaying Ukrainian flags to show solidarity with Ukrainians. The demand has flag makers working extra just to try to keep up with demand.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said DeVaughn Simper, a vexillologist with Colonial Flag. A vexillologist studies the history, symbolism, and use of flags. 

“Other than the U.S. flag, we’ve never seen anything like this fly off the shelves,” Simper said.

Demand for Ukrainian flags

Colonial Flag has been working to fill orders as fast as possible. Simper says, they’ve been fortunate to get orders out as fast as they have.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve produced over 400 [flags],” he said, with orders still coming in. Simper said there was no way to anticipate just how much demand there would be for something like this.

“It’s really hard to tell what people are going to do, what the latest trend is going to be,” he said. “So, there’s no way to prepare for this.”

Colonial Flag has a production area where workers sew and assemble flags. With demand as high as it is, Colonial has had to have some of their workers produce flags from home.

“We do have a network of home sewers,” Simper said. “We have [them] all over the valley.”

Home sewers work on custom orders while in-house production focuses solely on Ukrainian flag orders.

After receiving a call from the governor’s office, Colonial put together a Ukrainian Flag for the rally held on Feb. 28 at the State Capitol. According to Simper, Colonial constructed a 10 by 15-foot flag in a matter of hours just in time for the rally. But despite the rapid work for some orders, there is still a backlog.

Two to three waiting period

“[There’s a] two to three-day wait period,” Simper said. “But we’ve been able to get them out pretty quickly.” Maintaining enough material to keep up with orders has helped Colonial have a good turnaround time, even with a backlog.

“We’ve had plenty of fabric,” Simper said. “And [we] have had a really good relationship with our suppliers to get more fabric.”

As more people obtain Ukrainian flags, Simper said it is important to keep in mind flag protocol when displaying the Ukrainian or any other flag.

“The Ukrainian flag has fairly moderate rules,” he said. “International protocol prohibits flying the Ukrainian flag below the United States flag. They should be flown on separate poles, at the same height with the U.S. on its own and then the Ukraine to the immediate left, and then followed by the state flag.”

Such a display is appropriate only when the appropriate flagpoles are used like in front of a state or federal building. But Simper said the Ukrainian flag can be displayed in any way in the United States, so long as it is not disrespected.

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Utah flag makers try to keep up with demand for Ukrainian flags