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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.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.