Walmart bans Mississippi state flag due to Confederate symbol
Walmart will no longer display the Mississippi state flag in its stores, since it is the only flag in the U.S. to embed the Confederate battle flag, the AP first reported and Axios confirmed.
Driving the news: The NCAA announced on Friday that it would no longer hold championship events in Mississippi, due to the Confederate symbol's "prominent presence" on the state flag.
What they're saying: “Displaying state flags in our stores is a common practice nationwide. We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders. While the issue continues to be discussed, we’ve made the decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from display in its current form from our stores," Walmart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez said in a statement.
- “We believe it’s the right thing to do, and is consistent with Walmart’s position to not sell merchandise with the confederate flag from stores and online sites, as part of our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our customers in the communities we serve," he said.
The big picture: Weeks of protests against police violence and racism have sharpened the focus of a long-standing debate about the place for and relevance of Confederate-era monuments and iconography, Axios' Fadel Allassan reports.
- Protesters in Virginia and Alabama have toppled Confederate statues in recent weeks, and the U.S. Marines issued a directive ordering the removal of public displays of the flag.