MADE IN NEVADA: The Flag Store

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- The Flag Store in Sparks specializes in Nevada-shaped gift baskets filled with products "Made in Nevada."

The Flag Store's Vice President, Eric Smith, displaying his wide range of buying options by holding up the flag of Luxembourg

This is the place to visit if you want to show your Nevada pride to a loved one. You will find a table overflowing with the gifts in the center of the store. Some of the baskets are big, others are small, and the variety is almost endless.

Prices range from $19.95 to $100. The "Hodge Podge Basket" and the "I Love Nevada Basket" are the most popular.

"They just have a good mix of made-in-Nevada stuff. Just a good mix of the jams and jellies, the pickles, the candy," says The Flag Store's Vice President, Eric Smith.

Only a few steps away is a shelf filled with items only made in Nevada.

"We love it. There's so much variety." says shopper Suzanne Evans.

The three most popular items in order are Al Bees Pure Raw Honey, Tahoe Toffee, and Kimmie Candy.

Two other unusual products are the Cantaloupe Jam made in Fallon at Lattin Farms and the Nakara Handmade Soap.

"Everything is natural. They have essential oils in them and she also likes to put botanical flowers in them so you'll see lavender. There's some rose pedals and one of my favorite things that she does make is bath bombs. If you want a real natural bath bomb, hers are beautiful and they don't leave the weird residue," says employee Christine O'Malley.

Getting to this point took many twists and turns.

Eric Smith is the Vice President for The Flag Store. He says it was founded in 1986 when his father Marty Smith was approached about starting the store because the selection to buy flags in the Reno and Sparks area was limited at that time.

Eric helped his father and mother when he was just a small boy. He loved work enough to stay and says he's proud of the wide selection of flags.

"What's the most obscure?" asked KOLO 8 News Now's Noah Bond.

"Luxumburg," says Eric. In less than 30 seconds he opened a box containing the flag and said as he held it up for display, "It's just kind of an odd one. People don't really ask for it too too often. Not terribly exciting. It's just an oddball."

A section of the store is dedicated to banners representing Major League Baseball teams. Eric says the sale of these banners indicates the strength of the economy because they're purchased with the extra cash sitting in a purse or wallet. Right now, sales are strong.

Shoppers can buy a United States Flag in many sizes from 12 inches by 18 inches to 30 by 40 feet. You can also find banner themes of all sorts including Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

Flag Store workers can create most anything that can be imagined.

Noah found an employee working on a large flag in production for the Reed Raiders football stadium. She was cutting fabric around a large piece of cloth touting the school's big wins.

Flags and banners were the store's mainstay its first 20 years from 1986 to 2006. Then in 2007, the effects of the recession hit and sales dried up. The business morphed by adding "Made in Nevada" products to survive. It worked and now sales are stronger than ever.

You can find The Flag Store at 155 Glendale Avenue #9 in Sparks.

There are two other places that sell products Made in Nevada, the Buy Nevada First Gift shop at 4001 South Virginia Street in Reno and The Gift Shop in the Legislative Building at 401 South Carson Street in Carson City.