Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Sears, and Kmart are similar in that they are all retailers. And likely due to recent events, they are also similar in that they will no longer sell the Confederate flag through their websites or, where applicable, their physical locations.
USA Today initially reported that Walmart will scrub any items “promoting” the Confederate flag. “We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our website,” said Walmart spokesperson Brian Nick.
Meanwhile, Reuters confirmed with Sears, which operates both Sears and Kmart stores, that the Confederate flag will not be sold by third-party sellers on their respective online marketplaces. “We are in the process of scrubbing our marketplace to pull those items down,” said Sears spokesperson Chris Brathwaite. Neither store sells the flag in their bricks-and-mortar stores.
In addition, a source has indicated that Amazon will pull down the flag from its online marketplace, though it isn’t known whether this means not directly selling it to buyers or not having third-party sellers doing so. Etsy, however, did confirm to CNBC that it will remove any items related to the Confederate flag, including the flag itself, from its marketplace.
Finally, eBay released a statement earlier today confirming it will prohibit the flag and any other items containing the image from appearing in its marketplace. “This decision is consistent with our long-standing policy that prohibits items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, and racial intolerance,” wrote eBay.
Considering the tragic turn of events at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine black worshippers dead at the hands of 21-year-old Dylann Roof, it’s not a surprise retailers have decided to stop selling anything symbolic of the Confederacy. Not only does the flag historically represent the turmoil that was the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865, but many, especially in the black community, see it as a representation of racism and discrimination.
And the retailers aren’t alone, as South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and the state’s two senators, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, said the Confederate flag that’s currently flown on Capitol grounds should be removed.