Several major retailers have banned sales of the Confederate flag, after it was seen in photos being held by Dylann Roof, the suspect in the shooting that left nine people dead at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.
The major companies, which include Walmart, Amazon, eBay, Sears, Target and Etsy have cited similar reasons for the removal of Confederate flag merchandise, along the lines that it is “offensive” and is a “symbol of racism and slavery.”
While Walmart carried products that included the Confederate flag’s design up until Monday, it discontinued that merchandise after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag from the state capitol grounds.
Haley said that although many people in the state view the flag as a “symbol of respect, integrity and duty,” and a way “to honor the ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict,” others see it as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”
Brian Nick, a spokesperson for Walmart, released a statement saying that the retailer intends to avoid carrying items that are offensive.
“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,” Nick said. “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 Gateway Pundit noted that while Walmart has committed to halting the sales of Confederate flags, it still sells posters glorifying Che Guevara, the “notorious anti-Black racist from Argentina who murdered hungry children and became an icon for leftists around the world for his role in the 1959 communist takeover of Cuba.”
The Blaze noted that Guevara “murdered Cubans because of their supposed affiliation with the U.S.” and said things such as “the Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink,” “the Negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths,” and “The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!”
Johnna Hoff, a spokesperson for eBay, released a statement saying that the online retailer is banning merchandise containing the Confederate flag because it has “become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.”
CNN reported that on Amazon, sales of three versions of the Confederate flag were “up 1,670% to 2,305% over a period of 24 hours,” and that one of the flags, which was priced at $1.80 plus shipping, is both “the ninth best-selling item in the Patio, Lawn & Garden department,” and “the top-selling item among all outdoor flags and banners sold on Amazon.”
Despite the sudden rise in sales, Amazon joined the group of retailers banning Confederate flag merchandise on Tuesday.
However, while it banned the material for being “offensive,” it still carries several products commemorating Nazi Germany, including a Swatika-themed iPhone 5 case for $5.99, a “#hitler” mug for $20.99, Playstation 4 Swastika-themed Console and Remote Controller skins for $21.99 and Hitler’s Nazi SS Flag for $7.35.