Meet The Black Guy Selling Confederate Flags

It’s more than just an online ploy to sell $70 flags.

Buy­ing a Con­fed­er­ate flag is rather dif­fi­cult these days. Most ma­jor re­tail­ers won’t sell them any­more, and even South Car­o­lina thinks the flag be­longs more in a mu­seum than in the pub­lic space. But worry not, Con­fed­er­ate flag en­thu­si­asts, there may be hope yet.

AJ Hall, a 29 year-old from Los Angeles, launched a new web­site this week: “Buy Con­fed­er­ate Flags From A Black Guy.”

As he ex­plains in an in­tro­duc­tion video, “It’s about her­it­age, not hate,” con­tinu­ing, “but while we’re be­ing hon­est, White people buy­ing oth­er flags from oth­er White people can seem kind of sus­pi­cious.”

That’s where the real mes­sage comes in. “If the Con­fed­er­ate flag was a sym­bol of ra­cism, could you buy one from a Black guy?” the video con­tin­ues. “Hell no.”

So, Hall is selling flags for $69.99, plus ship­ping costs. Each flag comes with a signed photo of Hall, so you know it came from “a real-life Black guy,” he guar­an­tees.

While at first this comes off as a clev­er spoof, Hall is ac­tu­ally selling the flags to who­ever wants to buy them. But there is a deep­er mean­ing.

Next Amer­ica re­cently spoke with Hall to find out his mo­tiv­a­tions. The in­ter­view has been ed­ited for length and clar­ity.

What’s the idea be­hind the web­site and the video?

The idea came to me three months ago when we were in the thick of the Con­fed­er­ate flag con­tro­versy. One thing I’ve no­ticed, even on lib­er­al sites, is some White people really love noth­ing more than minor­it­ies say­ing the things that White people aren’t al­lowed to say.

Even on a web­site like Red­dit, which by all ac­counts is sup­posed to be a lib­er­al web­site, you’ll see things like when Bal­timore was burn­ing, videos of a Black guy walk­ing around in a park­ing lot drop­ping n-bombs call­ing fel­low Black people “an­im­als.” And while I don’t agree with the ac­tions of ri­oters, it dis­gusts me to see how much non­minor­ity people en­joy that kind of be­ha­vi­or. And then there’s the ste­reo­typ­ic­al Uncle Tom as­pect to all of it. That idea is very much still alive and it dis­turbs me.

So you want to turn that on its head and say, This is a Black guy will­ing to sell you a Con­fed­er­ate flag and you should not feel guilty?

It’s lit­er­ally what they want. It is turn­ing it on its head. People can nev­er do any­thing to change oth­er people’s ideas. That change has to come from you. In­stead of look­ing in­side your­self, people find oth­er sources that are sup­posedly le­git­im­ate that com­pare to what they feel in­side. Say you’re a White per­son feel­ing con­flic­ted with how the Civil War was clearly about ra­cism and slavery. Then what bet­ter idea is it to just find a Black per­son who says it’s about her­it­age.

You’re speak­ing to an­oth­er point about how the ab­sence of the flag doesn’t really kill ra­cism. There are still ra­cists out there.

That’s my whole point, too. I’m go­ing to plead the Fifth about my feel­ing on the Con­fed­er­ate flag while this is still go­ing on. Grow­ing up, I saw Con­fed­er­ate flags. It’s a huge thing—the idea of be­ing rebel and coun­ter­cul­ture and not-P.C. For me, why take away our abil­ity to identi­fy those types of people. If you want to fly and buy a Con­fed­er­ate flag, I’m not say­ing what type of per­son that makes you, but that’s def­in­itely an identi­fy­ing mark.

The video hasn’t been up that long. Have people ac­tu­ally tried to or­der the flag already?

Yes. I had a Google Voice num­ber on the web­site that dir­ects to my phone. I’ve been field­ing calls since Monday. More than half of them are people shocked I answered the phone, and I tell them it’s not some vir­al mar­ket­ing cam­paign from some ad agency. I’ve got­ten a lot of minor­ity people call­ing me, ap­pre­ci­at­ing where I’m com­ing from. And then I got some dis­turb­ing calls. I got a call from a gen­tle­man in Ok­lahoma yes­ter­day who said he works for a school, and for some reas­on they need to buy a Con­fed­er­ate flag. He asked me if Black people made the flags. He wanted to make sure he was buy­ing the flag “the right way.”

Black folks don’t make these flags, but they are hand-fol­ded by a “genu­ine Black guy.”

Ex­actly. Touched by genu­ine Black lips.

Where are you ac­tu­ally get­ting these flags?

I have a deal with two man­u­fac­tures, one here and one over­seas.

But oth­er­wise, this is all you?

This is me act­ing alone. Everything was my idea. I am not part of a com­edy troupe. I am not as­so­ci­ated with any tal­ent-agency mak­ing You­Tube stars. This is 100 per­cent, homegrown AJ Hall.