Walmart Calls For Removal Of All Confederate Flag Merchandise

Walmart has removed all merchandise bearing the Confederate flag from its stores.

The company has taken this step in the wake of the South Carolina shooting last week, which resulted in the death of nine people in a church in Charleston.

Walmart's move came on the same day that South Carolina's governor, Nikki Haley, called for removing the Confederate flag from the State Capitol. The Confederate flag has flown in the Columbia statehouse for over 50 years.

Hours after Nikki's Haley's announcement, Walmart issued a statement. The statement said that the company will no longer sell any item related to the Confederate flag.

Brian Nick, Walmart's spokesman, said, "We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer."

He added that the company has taken steps to remove all items promoting the flag. He also said that the items will not be available in both stores and online.

The Confederate flag was originally the battle flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Northern Virginia Army. After the war, the flag became a symbol of Southern pride. But during the slavery era, the Confederate flag became a violent emblem of white supremacist groups.

The flag is now recognized as a remnant of the slavery era and many people consider it as a racist symbol. The debate for removing the flag from government buildings has been running for decades. The Charleston shooting turned the issue into a hot-button topic which has united both Democratic and Republican politicians.

The culprit of the crime, Dylann Roof, had pictures of himself online holding the flag. He also had links to racism-expounding manifestos.

On Monday, Haley said that the time to remove the flag from the grounds of the capitol has come.

Various products, including beds, bearing the Confederate flag were visible on Walmart's website on Monday evening. However, the items were out of stock and were not available for purchase.

Haley's call for removing the flag has won widespread support. Jeb Bush, a Republican presidential candidate, expressed his support on Twitter. Other aspiring candidates were more careful about taking a stand on the issue.

Key political figures who expressed their support include Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and Ohio's governor, John Kasich. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, also tweeted his support for Haley's move.

[Photo By: Joe Raedle / Getty Images]