Our factory produces thousands of British flags after Queen dead
Workers produce British flags at Shaoxing Chuangdong Tour Articles Co.,LTD in Shaoxing, east China's Zhejiang province, Sept. 16.
SHAOXING, China - Ninety minutes after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, orders for thousands of British flags began pouring into a factory south of Shanghai.
More than 100 employees at Shaoxing Creative Travel Goods Co. put aside other work and started working 14 hours a day at 7:30 a.m. to make only the British-themed flags.
They had at least 500,000 in the first week, according to general manager Fan Aiping.
Some were British flags carried by mourners or hung outside the house. Others display portraits of Elizabeth and the years of her birth and death. They range in width from 21 to 150 centimeters (8 to 59 inches) and cost about $7 ($1) wholesale.
The first customer placed an order for tens of thousands of dollars at 3 a.m. China time, Fan said. The factory's inventory of 20,000 pieces was shipped out that morning, she said.
"Customers came straight to our factory to grab the product," Van said. "Many of the flags weren't even packaged. They were put in a box and shipped out."
The factory had been making flags for the World Cup soccer tournament until Elizabeth's death.
Tronton has been in the business since 2005, making flags for the World Cup and other sporting events or national celebrations. It also makes sports-themed scarves and banners.
Employees follow the news of events that could lead to orders.
"There's a business opportunity behind every news event," Pham says.
Ni Guozhen, who joined the company in 2005, said she learned about the world through her work.
"I've learned a lot about current events," said Ni, who is sewing flags from the Queen's portrait. "My knowledge has grown. As a result, I feel proud and happy to make my own flags."
Ni remembers filling orders for British-themed flags for a royal wedding.
"Every flag has a story behind it," Van said. "This time it was about the Queen of England. They purchased these flags in deep tribute to the Queen."