The Mississippi state flag will no longer be sold or displayed in Walmart stores.
A spokesperson for Walmart, Anne Hatfield said displaying the state flags “is a common practice nationwide.” The retailer has stopped displaying the Mississippi flag, because of a debate over changing the design of the flag.
As Protests for racial justice continue across America, the Mississippi flag, which features a Confederate emblem, has increasingly come under fire. Now many are citing Mississippi’s flag as a symbol for entrenched racism, calling for its removal along with other monuments to the Confederacy.
According to Hatfield, Walmart removed the flag from their shelves a couple of weeks ago.
Walmart’s decision comes in the wake of a statement issued by none other than the historically conservative Mississippi Baptist Convention.
“While some may see the current flag as a celebration of heritage, a significant portion of the state sees it as a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred,” said The Executive Director and Treasurer of the MBC, Shawn Parker.
Black actress and Mississippian Aunjanue Ellis expanded more eloquently, addressing the state’s First Lady Elee Reeves in a video posted to twitter :
“The reality is that that flag has been at the site of Church Bombings, assasinations, shootings…” Ellis continued, “It is the shared iconography of the KKK a terrorist organization no better than AL Qaeda…My 12 year old nephew should not have to pass by that flag to get an education.”
In 2015, Walmart claimed to have removed all items promoting the Confederate flag from its stores and webpage. Tuesday afternoon, Google links to Mississippi state flag merchandise on Walmart.com resulted in error pages.
Greg Sankey, The NCAA Board of Governors, and Southeastern Conference Commissioner have also taken stands against Mississippi’s state flag. Reportedly, the SEC may not hold championship events in the state until the Confederate emblem has been removed.