Independence day flag and fireworks sales decline

350,000 flags sold, bringing in revenue of NIS 5 million.

flag israel 88 (photo credit: )
flag israel 88
(photo credit: )
With celebrations for the fifty-eighth anniversary of Israel's independence just one day away, it seems the public may be a bit less enthusiastic about expressing its patriotism than in the past. Sales of fireworks, traditionally a staple of Yom Ha'atzma'ut parties, have declined by 15 percent against last year's figures - with anticipated sales of between NIS 5 million to 6 million. Shmuel Shraga, chief executive of Shraga Fireworks, pointed to decreased sales to kibbutzim as being behind the fall. "Kibbutzim barely use fireworks today" he said, noting that they traditionally were large buyers of the products. Meanwhile, sales of Israeli flags have decreased in a similar fashion, according to the Textile and Fashion Industries division of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. A total of 350,000 flags were sold, according to the association, bringing in revenue of NIS 5 million, down 10% to 15% from last year. The situation was blamed on declining sales to government bodies, cities and local and regional governments. "Checks indicated that one-quarter of local governments didn't order flags at all and in the rest orders were down 30%," said Ramzi Gabai, chairman of the Textiles Association, noting that overall sales to the local governments were about NIS 2 million. Orders from hotels, however, rose 5% to 10%, yearover-year. Gabai expressed surprise at the fact that the government entities preferred to buy cheap, imported flags rather than purchasing Israeli-made products. According to the manufacturers' report, 25 percent to 30 percent of all flags sold were Israeli-made. Sales of flags for decorating cars, Gabai added, have fallen by 20%, and most types of flags are being sold at discounted prices to last year.