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Did The U.S. Government Order Amazon To Stop Selling Confederate Flag Merchandise?

Amazon was among the major retailers that removed all Confederate flag merchandise after controversy arose over the flag's ties to the suspect from a recent shooting in South Carolina. Despite reports that Amazon was ordered by federal law to stop selling products displaying the Confederate flag, the company claims that it acted independently in its decision to remove the merchandise.

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After the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine people were killed, pictures surfaced online of the suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, waving the Confederate Flag, and several major retailers reacted by pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves, deeming it “offensive” and a “symbol of racism and slavery.”

Amazon was one of major retailers that removed all Confederate flag merchandise, and on Thursday, InfoWars reported that the company “was ordered by the federal government not to sell items featuring the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.”

Citing a chat message between a customer and one of Amazon’s service reps, InfoWars  claimed that when asked about why there are “no Confederate flags for sale on Amazon,” Daniel V. from Amazon said that “due to national controversy regarding the Confederate flag due to recent issues on national news, by federal law retailers have been instructed to remove the Confederate flag from sale.”

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Amazon-Chat-InfoWars

Daniel V. goes on to say that retailers such as Walmart were also “instructed to remove all Confederate flags from sale,” and goes as far as to give a link to a story from CNN about how several major retailers “announced in quick succession that they would stop selling Confederate flag merchandise.”

Truth In Media contacted the office of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for a statement about whether the company was instructed to remove all Confederate flag merchandise by federal law. A representative from the company told Truth In Media, “We can confirm that Amazon acted independently to remove confederate flag merchandise.”

All Amazon customers have access to an “online chat” with the company’s customer service representatives, such as the one reported by InfoWars. If customers are looking to access this feature, they can sign into their Amazon accounts, select “Help,” click on “Contact Us,” and then select their type of problem and choose Chat as the method of contact.

We went through the channels and were connected with a customer service rep. from Amazon named “Rachel.”

Amazon-Chat-1

Amazon-Chat-2When asked about why the Confederate flag is no longer available on Amazon.com, Rachel from Amazon said, “Amazon acted independently to remove Confederate flag merchandise on our website and we truly apologize for the inconvenience.”

Rachel from Amazon also said that she does not have “an exact reason why the item was removed from the website.” 

All of the answers we received from Amazon’s service rep. on their “online chat” were very textbook and in addition to not mentioning anything about federal law, they also did not include any links from mainstream media sources such as CNN in their replies.

Amazon has not responded to Truth In Media’s request for comment on the guidelines Amazon customer services representatives are required to follow when responding to questions on their website’s “online chat” feature.

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