BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The world’s largest retailer announced it would stop selling merchandise decorated with the Confederate flag.
CNN reported the new development Monday evening, and said it was the latest sign the flag had become “toxic”.
The Walmart announcement came just hours after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley confirmed she supported the removal of the flag from the state capital grounds.
“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.”
The debate raged again after a young white man who embraced the flag as a symbol of white supremacy was charged with murder in the deaths of nine black church members.
The suspect in the church shootings, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was photographed earlier holding Confederate flags.
Police said he made racial insults at the church members during the shooting.
Supporters of the flag said it is a memorial to fallen Confederate soldiers, but opponents said it’s a symbol of hate put atop the Statehouse dome to protest the civil rights movement.