Report: Walmart to remove Confederate flag items
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Walmart, the world's largest retailer, told CNN Monday it will remove all Confederate flag merchandise from its stores in the wake of a deadly church shooting in South Carolina.
The announcement came the same day that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she supported removing the flag from the state capitol grounds, where it has flown for 15 years above the capitol dome.
Walmart.com has the Confederate flag for sale along with clothing and other attire featuring the flag's design. The flag became a focal point for racial tension after the shooting at an historic African-American church in Charleston where nine people were killed. Authorities said the suspected shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, viewed the Confederate flag as a symbol of white supremacy.
"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," Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN. "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."
A number of other political figures called on South Carolina's legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, including Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn and Republican Rep. Mark Sanford.
Many of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates and likely candidates -- including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- voiced their support for Haley's decision following her speech.