Crumb & Get It, a bakery in Fredericksburg’s Central Park, created a Facebook post on July 2 that has become its most popular so far.
The bakery made a Confederate flag cookie cake and shared a photo of it with the caption, “We had a special order today for this, we made it without question. History is a part of this great nation, and our area is home to many battles of the Civil War. God bless America!”
So far, 47,000 people have seen the picture, nearly 1,000 people have liked it, more than 300 have shared the post and it has garnered almost 200 comments both condemning and supporting the cake and the message behind it.
One comment read: “Making the cake is not the issue. Posting it to market yourself is. The Confederate flag represents a hateful racist ideology which fought to maintain the atrocity of slavery in a treasonous war against the United States of America. Marketing yourself with the cake implicitly shows support of the values represented by the symbol.”
The cake order follows weeks of national discussions about whether businesses should continue to sell products depicting the flag.
Dylann Roof, the shooter accused of killing nine people at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., embraced the Confederate flag and stated that his intent was “to start a race war.” In the wake of the tragedy, major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon stopped selling Confederate flag products.
Mike and Sarah Sweeney, the owners of Crumb & Get It, disagree with the negative comments and those who believe the flag is a symbol of racism.
“This is a free country where we are allowed to have different opinions, and agree to disagree,” Mike said. “What’s been most disappointing about this situation is we have had critics on social media make demands of us simply because we disagree, even threaten to sue us or protest our store. We are a small business and a family of six, and we’ve been serving the Fredericksburg community from day one. We find these strong-arm tactics very sad.”
Sweeney said that he feels the flag is a matter of history, not personal interpretation. He said that Fredericksburg—an area bisected by Jefferson Davis Highway, where people visit the Stonewall Jackson Shrine and children in Spotsylvania County attend Robert E. Lee Elementary School—is entrenched in that history.
Sarah Sweeney said the freedom of expression extends to other flags, such as the rainbow flag, and said she wouldn’t turn down an order celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision expanding gay marriage to the entire country.
She won’t fill orders asking for ISIS or Nazi flags, though, since she said those symbols “are blatantly hateful.”
Sweeney said the bakery is committed to providing people with the cakes of their choice and said she shares each original creation on Facebook. She said her intention wasn’t to create a swarm of discussion.
“For us, it was overwhelming,” she said. “We didn’t realize it would get this much attention. There’s a pretty good debate going on under the post but that’s not why we did it.”
Sweet Reasons Bakery, another local business, has offered custom cakes since April. Owner Juli Schafer said the bakery has turned away only two orders, one for genitalia and one that requested profane language.
She declined to comment of Crumb & Get It’s decision, but said her policy is to evaluate each custom order on an individual basis.
Jennifer Jensen, owner of Colonial Cupcakes in Stafford County, said she would fill an order for a Confederate flag cake.
“If someone called and ordered one I would do it, just like I would bake a cake for a gay wedding,” Jensen said. “I’m retired from the service and fought for the right to free speech. I believe in free speech, even speech you don’t want to hear every day.”