Walmart to Remove All Confederate Flag Merchandise From Website, Stores
Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, announced on Monday night that it would no longer sell any items featuring the Confederate flag. The move comes following the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, last week, allegedly committed by 21-year-old white man Dylann Roof.
"We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment – whether in our stores or on our website," said company spokesman Brian Nick in a statement. Walmart had sold copies of the flag itself, as well as T-shirts, belt buckles, bumper stickers and other other items with the flag emblazoned. Sears and Kmart have also discontinued selling anything bearing the flag. Target and Amazon are currently still selling flag-related items and have yet to make any public comments on the matter.
Roof, who admitted to wanting to start a "race war," had been seen in photographs prominently displaying the Confederate flag (and burning the American flag), setting off a national discussion about the former symbol of the Confederacy in the Civil War. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the flag to be taken down from its perch at the state capitol. She was joined by Senator Lindsay Graham and many other political leaders.
“We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer,” Governor Haley said. “My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony, and we can honor the nine blessed souls.”