Flags A’ Flying helps locals support Ukraine
If you’re traveling around Tacoma and spot a Ukrainian flag, you can bet it was probably purchased from Flags A’ Flying. Doing business at 3635 S. Lawrence Street for 26 years, locals flock to this one-of-a-kind store to publicly show their solidarity with the people of Ukraine by displaying the country’s national flag or wearing it as a lapel pin.
“We always get a very consistent number of requests for them, not only locally but also nationally,” said co-owner and sales manager Kourtney Bailey. “There is always a desire to show support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people. At the moment we have a few sizes in stock and more are coming.
Flags A’ Flying carries flags from every country in the world and every state in the United States, the vast majority of which are made in the United States.
“We have always carried the Ukrainian flag, but the demand has never been what it is today,” she said.
The inventory can meet all requests: sports, military, nautical, seasonal, patriotic pennants and decoration for events, pennants for car dealerships, flag pins, decals, crests and kites. The store offers a number of different flag poles in aluminum, fiberglass, and other materials, as well as flag pole repair parts and flag pole repair and installation services.
A spin-off company, Bailey’s Seasonal Flags, stocks decorative yard flags, house banner flags, yard arts like tops and swirls, windsocks, door ornaments, poles and accessories.
Flags A’ Flying was founded by Keith Harris, who left it as a lasting legacy when he passed away last month. His daughter Kourtney and his wife Cathy Harris are co-owners of the business. Kourtney fondly remembers her father as “a patriot at heart” who loved giving people the opportunity to fly the flag of their choice. The American flag was, of course, Keith’s favorite and his store carries it in a wide range of sizes and styles. .
Kourtney said she also loves what she does, being part of people’s moments and stories. There is an emotional side to helping people express their feelings and life events, something that honors everyone at Flags A’ Flying.
Keith Harris founded the store, here with his wife Cathy and daughter Kourtney.
“There is often a positive and painful emotional component as well,” she explains. “We have people who are excited to celebrate their sports team going to the playoffs, graduations, weddings or welcoming a new baby. But then there are local and global events happening. 9/11 we had lineups and we were exhausted from everything red, white and blue. Now we have Ukraine and people arriving with family members there or who are from there, and those who just want to show their support.Flags are a symbol and an expression for people.
Kourtney said the past two years have been particularly interesting between the presidential election and the national pandemic.
“Political party flags during the election year probably accounted for the most requests for political flags we have ever sold in the history of our presence here.”
Flags A’ Flying is part of Tacoma’s visual history as a city, with the company having installed the flag pole at Thea Foss Park and atop the dome.
“It’s a unique business in that it’s not something you’ll find in every town or city,” as Kourtney said.
To get an idea of what you will find in store, visit flagsflying.com and baileysseasonalflags.com. There’s plenty more in the store itself, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, the staff will find it for you.