Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Waning Patriotism Leaves War Trinket Sellers Holding the Bag

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Waning Patriotism Leaves War Trinket Sellers Holding the Bag

Article excerpt

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of the last columns written by Sylvia Porter before her death June 5. Her column will be continued by her associates. It wasn't very many weeks ago that the businesses standing to profit from the war in the Persian Gulf were an appropriate subject of conversation. They included some businesses you might expect _ flag vendors and the sellers of yellow ribbons. And suppliers of products and services to the armed forces. The country was abuzz with newly awakened patriotism. Now it appears that things that can be awakened quickly can just as quickly be sent to slumber. This has had a devastating effect on some businesses, in surprising ways. A new survey by the trend-watching Socio-Economic Research Institute of America shows that patriotic fervor has quieted to a point only slightly higher than it was at the time Iraq invaded Kuwait. This is very bad news indeed for the nation's souvenir vendors. All those items that you see at roadside and resort souvenir stores are purchased months in advance. In this case, many buyers stocked up for the summer season at the height of tensions leading up to or at the beginning of the war. The result is that the hundreds of thousands of T-shirts, decorated plates, coffee mugs and the like _ all sporting Gulf War themes _ are largely unsal- able. For the first time anyone can remember, tourists found wide discounts during Memorial Day visits. Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of the summer tourism season. The Rhinebeck, N.Y., research orga- nization reports that insofar as long-term attitudes are concerned, it's almost as though the war never happened. Concern over foreign-made goods and imported oil has cooled along with the patriotic fervor. A survey of department and discount stores nationwide showed that items with patriotic themes had become extremely slow movers there as well. Free-standing displays of such items disappeared shortly after the war ended, and the items themselves were finally unloaded at deep discounts. Flag sales, of course, have dried up, and yellow ribbons are selling in no greater quantity than they were a year ago, before many people had ever heard of Kuwait. …
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.