Earlier today, we noted that Walmart, one of middle America's bastions of culture and commerce, was pulling Confederate Flag merchandise. The retail giant's move clearly didn't go unnoticed, as several other major retailers have followed suit, pulling Confederate flag branded products from their shelves.
At the time of publication, eBay, Amazon, Sears, and etsy have all made pledges to drop the flag from its retail offerings.
As one of the longest-standing symbols of the pre-Civil War South (and much of the racism embedded in it's culture and economy), it has remained a consistently controversial reminder of the United States' complicated issues with slavery, race, and racism. With the tragedy in Charleston, SC only the latest chapter in a series of violent acts towards people of color, many stores have dropped the aging symbol as a sign of respect.
Walmart started the charge on Monday of this week. Today, eBay and etsy began removing products with the Confederate flag. Amazon confirmed through Time that it too will begin the process of removing the flag from its digital shelves.
This isn't the first time the abrasive nature of the Confederate flag has been brought up in recent memory. When promoting his Yeezus Tour, Kanye West used the flag on his tour bomber jackets. Kanye described the choice as a way to "take back" the symbol:
"The Confederate flag represented slavery in a way. That's my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I wrote the song, 'New Slaves.' So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now. Now what you gonna do?"
A photo posted by @virgilabloh on Nov 3, 2013 at 12:33pm PST
Even though many have already begun taking down the flag, including the South Carolina State House, we can only expect that more stores will follow suit. President Obama has kept the position that the flag doesn't belong in public, but instead "belongs in a museum." These retailers are proving that it doesn't belong in stores either.