Price-gouging on flags? You gotta be freakin' kidding me...

On the corner of 28th Street and Park Avenue in New York City, an enterprising young man is selling American flags on a folding table, right next to the subway entrance. He wants $25 for a 3’ X 5’ nylon flag. People are buying them like crazy. His supplier is a wholesale store up the block that sells the same flag to him for $5.

400% markup? At a time like this? I hope the NYPD sees him doing this, breaks his skull with a billy club and leaves his body for the roaches.

I dunno, nobody is forced to buy a flag, are they? Yes, it is pretty lame, but I wouldn’t think it is illegal.

Are sure about the wholesale price, or that it is for the same exact flag? I’ve done a bit of flag shopping recently, and a printed nylon 3x5 is typically $15-$20. If the flag is sewn and/or embroidered instead of printed, $30-$35. These are prices that have been in place before Tuesday and are not jacked up. $25 would seem only slightly high for a cheap flag, unless the quality is exceedingly low. For higher quality, it may even be a bargain.

I’m not sure if the OP is talking about a flag alone, or a flag and mounting hardware.

If the latter, I think $5 is a bit low, even wholesale. My Knights of Columbus Assembly has for years sold U.S. flags at cost, as part of our patriotic mission. Our cost is $10/ea in bulk for a nylon flag and hardware, and $15/ea for sewn (as opposed to screened) flags.

How sure are you on the $5 figure?

  • Rick

It’s cheap nylon. No mounting hardward included. The wholesaler will let them go for $5 apiece in lots of 100 or more.

In Oklahoma it’s considered price gouging if it’s more than a 10% markup over what it was the previous 10 days. 3’x’5 nylon flags go for $15.00 here (assuming you could find one). So, if he were doing that here, he would get smacked down right quick. If someone reported him.

Lemme see if I’ve got this right: we live in a free market economic system, one of supply and demand. Entrepreneur sells a non-essential item for market price, an item apparently readily available elsewhere at a lower price, and, tell me again, why are you guys upset?

In this case it’s only readily available somewhere else cheaper if you want to buy 100.

Since the item is non-essential, I agree that this isn’t a matter for legislation.

I will opine, though, that the guy’s a heel. He lacks compassion. But so do plenty of others.

  • Rick

I always thought it was the epitome of irony when the symbol of a free-enterprise economy can be capitalized upon itself.


Just make a sign nearby that begs consumers to walk six blocks up to my 'hood, 34th Street. We have flags coming out the ass, including 2 dollar bandannas. Those were on Ninth Avenue. No, they’re not super heavyweight pashmina or anything, but I certainly expected them to cost more than two dollars. Really though, all across 34th there are cheap flags to be had.