Chatter over whether South Carolina should continue to fly the Confederate flag, especially after the massacre at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, is growing loud enough to effect change: Walmart, Sears, and eBay announced they will ban all Confederate merchandise.
Last week, our very own Veronica Wells asked, “Will South Carolina remove their Confederate flag now?” A symbol of the slave-holding South, critics chastised the SC capitol for flaunting the Confederate flag — even after the racially-motivated shooting at the Charleston Black church, which killed eight.
“This was an act of racial terrorism,” the president of the NAACP, Cornell Brooks, shouted in Charleston, according to CNN. “That symbol has to come down!”
While South Carolina is still stalling on taking down the flag, two big-name retailers — and one massive onlineauction site — took the first steps in banning the Confederate symbol.
“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, CNN reports.
EBay co-signed with Walmart, according to Fortune, announcing that it cannot stand by what the flag represents.
“We have decided to prohibit Confederate flags, and many items containing this image, because we believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The online auction site carried Confederate flags and accessories, including jewelry and handbags.
Sears does not sell Confederate flag merchandise, but the company pledged that it will “remove Confederate flag merchandise sold by third-party vendors online,” CNN added.