“After U.S.-based manufacturers stopped making them, most of the public, the general public, would buy from [online] sites,” said Repke. “That’s not a domestic flag; that’s usually an import from China or someplace. Mostly China.”

That raises the possibility that some of the self-described nationalists in Charlottesville may have been waving a Confederate flag made in Shanghai.

“With the U.S. flag, the consumer is very concerned that it be made in the United States, understandably,” said VandenBosch. “But with the Confederate flag, the priority for most is to find it as inexpensively as possible.”