SICKENING: Walmart removes state flag from Mississippi stores amid calls to nix Confederate emblem

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Walmart removes state flag from Mississippi stores amid calls to nix Confederate emblem

Max Garland Memphis Commercial Appeal

Walmart is no longer displaying the Mississippi state flag in its stores, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

“We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders,” Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield said in an emailed statement. “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.”

Hatfield said stores displaying state flags “is a common practice nationwide." However, the Mississippi state flag features a Confederate emblem and has faced increased scrutiny amid protests against racial justice throughout the country and calls to remove Confederate memorials.

Hatfield said Walmart removed the Mississippi state flag “from our stores a couple of weeks ago.”

In this file photo a small Mississippi state flag is held by a participant during a drive-by "re-open Mississippi" protest past the Governor's Mansion, in the background, in Jackson, Miss.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Baptist Convention called for the state to change its flag, with its executive director calling it “a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred,” the Clarion Ledger reported.

“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,” Hatfield said.

In 2015, Walmart said it removed all items for sale online and in-store that promoted the Confederate flag. Google links to Mississippi state flag merchandise on resulted in error pages on the website Tuesday afternoon.

The flag’s display in Walmart stores has been scrutinized before. In 2016, a petition calling for the removal of the Mississippi state flag inside a Walmart in Laurel, Mississippi, garnered a handful of supporters.

The NCAA Board of Governors and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey have also taken stands against Mississippi’s state flag, with Sankey saying the SEC may not hold championship events in the state until the Confederate emblem is removed.

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