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World Cup Fever Has Philly Flag Maker’s Factory Humming

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A Chile fan reacts after the  football match between Spain and Chile. (Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chile fan reacts after the football match between Spain and Chile. (Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

Molly Daly Molly Daly
Molly attended Hallahan High School, LaSalle College, and Temple...
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By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A longtime Philadelphia flag-maker is seeing a surge in business, driven by the World Cup.

Humphrys Flag Company in Old City has been making and selling flags and banners for a century and a half. Matt O’Connor, who calls himself the company’s CFO — that’s Chief Flag Officer — says there’s always demand for United States, British, and Spanish flags.

“It is interesting that we have customers who are from the United States, but they want to associate with whatever their team is,” he said. “So for example, today, we’ve been selling a ton of Chilean flags.”

The company’s Pottstown factory is known for turning around special orders on a moment’s notice. But O’Connor says he never anticipated the surge in interest in a North African nation’s emblem.

“Algeria was a shock, and in order to meet the demand, we had to work a little overtime to get the flag that people need.”

And although the Arch Street store is normally open Monday through Friday, O’Connor says, “I’ll be at work probably every day until the end of the World Cup.”

O’Connor says when it comes to national emblems, size does matter. Which comes in handy for the newest trend in flag fashion.

“”People are using flags as capes,” he said. “The most common size is 3 by 5 feet, but for the World Cup, they go up to 12 by 18 feet. I always tell people the bigger the flag, the more impact. And I think with the World Cup, people really want to show their pride for their country, so they think bigger’s better.”

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