Following national outcry against the public display of the Confederate flag, various companies (including major flag manufacturers) have declared that they will no longer support such symbolism by banning production and sales of the flag. Some organizations and states have committed to — or started the process of — removing the flags from their headquarters and events.
The announcements serve as an indication that the confederate representation of slave holding, defiance and hatred should no longer be displayed. The flag has become virulent following the shooting that took place in the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine Black churchgoers dead. Charged in the killing, Dylann Roof hoped to start a “race war” and has been associated with White supremacy. The massacre has sparked conversation, urging American citizens to take a stand against racism and hate.
Here are the current companies, states and organizations that have chosen to side with healing and moving forward by banning the flag:
In a statement released on Monday, Walmart vowed to remove “all items” promoting the Confederate flag for sale in-store and on its website.
After seeing a spike in sales for the Confederate flag, Amazon announced that it will pull all Confederate flag merchandise from its site.
eBay banned all auctions and sales of Confederate flags and items containing the image. “We believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism,” said spokesperson Johnna Hoff.
Sears and Kmart
Sears (which also operates Kmart) doesn’t sell Confederate flags in its stores, but it will no longer allow sales of Confederate merchandise by third parties on its website.
Etsy released a public statement saying it is “removing confederate items from our marketplace. Etsy’s policies prohibit items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred and these items fall squarely into that category.”
Target has removed a Confederate soldier costume from its website. “We all recognize the great sensitivity around this and have removed that one item from our website” said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.
NASCAR declared support for removing the flag in a public statement, “As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity.”
Google Shopping plans to remove all Confederate flag goods. “We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don’t allow content that’s generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group.” said a spokesperson via email.
Overstock released an online statement declaring that it has prohibited the sales of Confederate flags and items with associated iconography.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House. She said, “This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.” Her actions are noted for sparking the continual conversation over the controversial flag.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered the Confederate flag to be removed from Virginia State license plates saying, “even its display on state-issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people”
The Supreme Court ruled that Texas now has the right to reject license plate designs that feature a Confederate flag. Though the plates were designed to raise revenue, the DMV has the ability to reject the application if found to be “offensive to any member of the public.”
Mississippi Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn, spoke against the Confederate emblem in the state’s official flag, stating, “I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed.”
Representative Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, Alabama plans to file a legislative resolution to remove all Confederate flags from Capitol grounds and the Alabama Confederate Monument. He argued yesterday that, “the flags are offensive and have no place at a public building.” Just this morning, all four Confederate flags that were flying at the Confederate memorial on the Alabama Capitol grounds were taken down. The removal was a response to the order of Gov. Robert Bentley, who considered them a “distraction” from legislative issues.
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina is leading the charge for various colleges and universities. Charleston County councilman Henry Darby urged the school to remove a Confederate Naval Jack hanging in the Citadel’s Summerall Chapel. The board of visitors voted 9-3 to remove it from campus.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has control over the licensing rights to Duke of Hazzard merchandise, the show that features a popular car named General Lee, which has the Confederate flag plastered on its roof. One production company was producing replicas of the vehicle, but a spokesman for WBCP announced “We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.” Although you’ll see the Confederate-flag decorated car on old reruns, don’t expect to see any new merchandise with the offensive symbol.
Unfortunately, sales for Confederate flags and pins have skyrocketed among small companies. The action of removing Confederate flags and products with such negative symbolism may not change beliefs; however, these companies, organizations and states are leading the charge and taking a positive step in the right direction. We look forward to seeing more step up and speak out.
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