Retail companies, politicians, and previous supporters of the Confederate flag have decided to honor the victims of the AME Shooting by removing the flag from its stores and national landmarks.
Amazon, eBay, and Walmart were just some of the retailers who announced their decision to remove the flag and other Confederate merchandise from stores this week.
Some have gone even further by etching out Confederate soldiers and army leaders from national buildings. With many statues and plaques in and around government buildings, politicians like Isadore Hall (D-CA) and Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) have motioned for their removal.
The current Confederate flag purge stems from accused Charleston gunman Dylann Roof. The 21-year-old made his White extremist views clear in a manifesto paired with photos of himself posing with the flag. He then proceeded to kill nine Black churchgoers.
As more companies and politicians continue to speak out against the flag, here is the growing list of companies staying far away from it.
In reports by Reuters and The Washington Post, Amazon announced Tuesday all Confederate flags and accessories would be removed from their online store. In a temporary twist of events, sales of Confederate merchandise jumped 3,300 to 4,600 percent.
Johnna Hoff, an eBay spokesperson, told CNN the company isn’t interested in spreading the “symbol of racism.” “The Confederate flag has “become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.” It is banning the sale of Confederate flags and “many items containing this image,” Hoff said.
Sears Holdings Corp
Sears Holdings Corporation, home to major retailers Sears and Kmart, says Confederate flags aren’t sold in stores, but all flags sold by third-party vendors will be removed promptly.
In one of the most thorough statements, Walmart was also one of the first companies to denounce the selling of Confederate merchandise. “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,” said Walmart spokesman Brian Nick. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.”
Peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy announced they will not allow the Confederate flag to be sold on the site.
Spencer Gifts LLC
The gag store that’s known for everything from graphic tees to elaborate costumes released a statement standing with the other companies on the topic of the Confederate flag.
Target also announced a stop to Confederate flag merchandise.
NASCAR said they will take down the Confederate flag at future events. “As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity,” NASCAR said. “While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.”
States Proposing Flag & Statue Removal
Republican Philip Gunn proposed that the Confederate’s battle cross should be removed from the upper corner of the state flag.
Governor Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that lawmakers will vote to debate removing the Confederate flag from its State House grounds. Calling it a “symbol that divides us,” the state’s decision about the flag will come in the next few weeks.
Alabama governor Robert Bentley removed all four Confederate flags from the Alabama state Capitol’s Confederate memorial on Wednesday. The Republican told reporters the motion needed to be done in light of the tragedy in Charleston and called the flag a distraction. Others removed were the First National Confederate Flag (known as “Stars and Bars”), the Second National Confederate Flag (known as the “Stainless Banner”), and the Third National Confederate Flag.
After Democratic Assemblyman Isadore Hall of Compton said his mother saw a replica of a Confederate flag at a Capitol gift shop, he proposed to ban all Confederate merchandise at government stores.
Lawmakers from Alabama’s Democratic and Republican parties agreed this week that a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from outside the Statehouse. Forrest was a Confederate general and leader in the early days of the Ku Klux Klan.
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is petitioning to remove the flag from license plates. Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee agreed with McAuliffe and will follow suit. The governor told reporters he would have to reverse a 2002 decision by the federal court that allowed Confederate veterans to display its image–including the flag on state license plates.
Lawmakers have motioned for the John C. Calhoun Lake to be renamed. Calhoun was a strong Confederate supporter and major defender of slavery.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (among many others) support that the statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy that stands in Kentucky’s Capital rotunda, be removed. It currently stands next to a bigger statue of Abraham Lincoln in the rotunda. Politicians in Washington and Nevada also agreed to remove similar statues.
SOURCE: NY Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty