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26 Jun, 2008 02:37

Flag sales break records

They're all over the place: flying from windows, fixed on car roofs, plastered on the walls of pubs; they're even on people’s faces. And its all thanks to the performance of Russia's footballers in Euro 2008. It's hard to recall a time when the Russian fl

Now flag makers and retailers are celebrating victories of their own.

“Average monthly sales hover around 20,000, but in June we’ve already sold a record 100,000 flags. But there’s even more to come. We knew Russians would not remain indifferent to their team’s performance. These days you can see long lines in our offices,” said Yana Chizhevskaya from BIAR Flags.

The federal law doesn’t allow individuals to use flags on days other than national holidays but that stops very few.

Experts say the string of sporting triumphs is creating a whole new market for flags, national symbols and sports memorabilia.

The recent sporting boom has seen both private and government money spent on renovating stadiums and boosting players’ and trainers’ salaries.

Inspired by recent soccer victories, Russia’s Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin on Wednesday pledged to allocate more money to sports.

“The government has decided to create a special state programme for football development in the country. We’ll be spending 1.5 billion rubles annually in the next three years on this programme,” he said.

While it’s not yet clear whether putting billions into football is a winning strategy for the country as a whole, flag makers hope it might convince the government to let Russian people use their national flag whenever they feel a patriotic rush.