After the longstanding debate over the message sent by displaying the Confederate flag, Walmart Super Store and Sears Holdings Corp., which operates Sears and Kmart, have announced that they will no longer offer the Confederate flag for sale. Not only will these stores not sell the flag itself, but they will also cease to sell any merchandise that depicts the flag.
According to a report by CNN, last week’s massacre of nine African Americans in a South Carolina church has taken precedence in the debate over the Confederate flag. The shooter, a white male, had previously posed in photos with the flag, and upon being questioned admitted to attempting to instigate a “race war.”
Critics have long claimed that this flag is a symbol of slavery and racism, and many have implored that South Carolina take the flag down, and on Monday, June 22, 2015, the governor of South Carolina announced that she would do just that. Gov. Nikki Haley declared that, although the flag is a symbol of the state’s history, it was time that it be taken down, for it would not be a symbol of the future.
Walmart spokesman, Brian Nick, reported that steps have been taken to remove all items promoting the confederate flag in an attempt to avoid offending customers. Sears Holdings Corp. does not carry Confederate flag merchandise, but it is now prohibiting the sale of such products by third party-vendors online. In addition to Walmart, Sears and Kmart, Amazon and eBay have also declared that they will remove Confederate flag merchandise from their inventory.
The longstanding debate over the Confederate flag has taken a turn in recent weeks, and it is quite possible that the flag and items promoting it will cease to be sold in stores everywhere.