Walmart, Amazon, eBay and Sears Stop Selling Confederate Flag Merchandise
Shoppers hoping to buy Confederate flag paraphernalia at the nation’s leading retail outlets will have to look elsewhere: These products are being pulled from shelves.
Following Monday’s statements from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley that the flag should be removed from the state capitol, Walmart, Amazon, eBay and Sears have announced that they will no longer sell merchandise bearing the flag.
The Confederate flag has come a highly scrutinized symbol of the United States’ slavery-condoning past following the racially motivated fatal shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
In a statement, Walmart spokesperson Brian Nick explained the company’s move.
“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment – whether in our stores or on our web site,” Nick said.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Charles Fishman, author of Walmart Effect, said that the chain’s decision was especially surprising.
“Walmart was born in Arkansas and is the store in some ways of the old Confederacy – the store of the deep South and the heartland. Across the South, Walmart is a hugely prominent force in how people live,” Fishman said.
According to CNN, eBay is pulling the items because the Confederate flag has “become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.” A Sears spokesperson, meanwhile, told Reuters that while Sears and Kmart stores do not sell Confederate flags, the chain’s website has stopping selling such products via third-party distributors.
An NBC News report noted that after Walmart and Ebay announced they’d stop selling the flag, sales on Amazon spiked. Amazon has since announced that it too would remove the Confederate flag-related products from its site.