NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Retailers including Wal-Mart (WMT) and Sears Holdings (SHLD) are stopping the sale of the Confederate flag and related products in the wake of a mass shooting of nine African-Americans at a Charleston, S.C. church. The alleged gunman posted online photos of himself posing with the Confederate flag, which prompted South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to take the flag down from the state capitol building. Now, Wal-Mart is following suit, eliminating all representations of the flag from its stores.
Wal-Mart spokesman Brian Nick said in a statement, "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. 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."Wal-Mart isn't alone. Sears spokesman Howard Riefs told us, "We are reviewing this matter and are in the process of removing confederate flag merchandise from our selling channels, including items sold by third-party merchants on Sears Marketplace."
A search for "Confederate flag" on Wal-Mart found that the only related item to appear for sale is the Mississippi state flag. Mississippi's flag still contains a representation of the Confederate flag in its design.
On Sears' Web site, a similar search turned up several listings for adult apparel with designs containing the Confederate flag. The flag and related products can still easily be found on the Web sites of online retailers like Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY). On Amazon, a search for 'Confederate flag' turned up 29,380 results.