Governor Haley and national retailers are banning flags and other southern products and driving customers to Dixie Republic.
Furman University graduate and former North Greenville University art professor Scott Goldsmith has a family heritage deep in Southern history. He also had a vision. Honoring his ancestors is not a hobby or game for Goldsmith. It is a very serious matter and the center of his being.
A few years ago he began an adventure that no other had knowingly undertaken. He purchased a plot of land on Highway 25 north of Travelers Rest and built a small log store. He stocked and sold only “Southern merchandise,” that ranged from Bluegrass CD’s to wood carvings and a collection of flags that had been flown by Southern States before, during and after the War Between the States.
Soon his business outgrew the log building and he purchased a larger tract of land further up the highway and constructed a larger facility. It seemed he was constantly enlarging and expanding the sales space to make room for more products.
In recent years the sales stabilized with the heaviest season being in the fall and early winter. Dixie Republic was stocked with interesting items that make unique gifts.
Then came the action of Governor Haley and the legislature and the collateral damage it caused. The parking lot has been active ever since. Some is from the heavy traffic on Highway 25, Others are local and from surrounding states who fear that flags and images of their family history will disappear forever due to the lack of knowledge of historical truth by most Americans, even in the South. They find the ignorance of many elected officials appalling.
Customers visiting Dixie Republic mince no words in expressing their views of politicians who hastily removed the battle flag from the soldier’s memorial where it had been placed by law.
Goldsmith’s brother Robert, a retired educator, who is helping with the workload, said they seldom have time to answer the phone. How can you justify talking on the phone when people who drove long distances are standing in line with money in their hand to purchase Southern merchandise?