High demand for ribbons keeps Carter’s Drug busy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 30, 2003

As the war with Iraq continues, Selma residents are beginning to show their support for U.S. troops by displaying yellow ribbons and bows on their homes, mailboxes and even their vehicles.

The demand for yellow ribbon is so high that many local stores are having a hard time keeping it on the shelves. In Selma, only a few places, including Carter’s Drug Store and Swift Drug Company, still have the item in stock.

This lack of yellow ribbon around town is part of a nation-wide shortage.

What used to be a common item is now hard to find, but a patriotic shortage is nothing new. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, for instance, finding an American flag for sale was nearly impossible.

Two employees of Carter’s Drug Store &045;&045; Ann Chandler and Regina Williams &045;&045; said they had to take a trip to Birmingham to buy more ribbon when supplies ran out.

In less than a week, the store has already sold more than 400 yellow bows.

The two women have been working constantly to keep up with the large demand.

Williams said she has made so many yellow bows that her hands are beginning to hurt.

The symbolism of the yellow ribbon came to life in 1980 during the American hostage crisis in Iran. The theme behind the yellow ribbon is based on a 1973 song entitled &uot;Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree,&uot; which tells the story of a prisoner returning home.

When the troops come back home to Selma after fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom, they too will find a town emblazoned in yellow ribbon.