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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.

California governor declares drought emergency in most counties

A sign in April on the outskirts of Buttonwillow in California's Kern County, one of the top agriculture producing counties in the San Joaquin Valley, after historically low winter rainfall. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover 41 of the state's 58 counties on Monday.

Why it matters: Most of California and the American West are experiencing an "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, per the U.S. Drought Monitor. Newsom and other officials are concerned California could experience a repeat of the catastrophic 2020 wildfire season.

Pelosi's Republican playbook

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Republicans fight among themselves, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is showing the myriad ways she deals with the GOP herself.

Between the lines: We've seen Pelosi cut opponents off at the knees, like she did with President Trump, or pretend to forget their names, as she did to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Now she's feeding oppo research against her House counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), so others can use the same harsh rhetoric to frame the Republicans as the party of dysfunction.