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A Walmart store in Mountain View, California. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper: NCAA bans Mississippi championships over Confederate symbol in state flag

Go deeper

Aug 14, 2020 - Sports

NCAA postpones Division I fall championships

Photo: G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

The NCAA announced Thursday that it has postponed Division I fall championships as individual conferences cancel their seasons due to concerns tied to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Universities have tried to find ways to safely move forward with fall sports, a major source of revenue for schools. Fall championships for Division II and III were already put on hold.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 12 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.