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After sales spike, Amazon joins retailers in pulling Confederate flag merchandise

Amazon has said that it will no longer sell Confederate battle flags, following a spike in sales for the online retailer after several major retailers stopped such sales.

On Tuesday afternoon, Amazon would discontinue the sales, according to sources that Reuters cited.

Major retailers Wal-Mart and Sears announced that they will no longer sell Confederate battle flag merchandise in their stores, but a spike in online sales on Amazon suggests that some people are turning elsewhere to buy the controversial emblem.

Earlier Tuesday, the NewsHour reported that over the last 24 hours, sales of the Confederate battle flag were up 2,305 percent, according to Amazon’s Movers and Shakers Patio, Lawn and Garden section. The item’s sales rank shot up to 38 from 914, Amazon’s website said. The section is updated hourly.

There was no immediate response from Amazon to a request for comment.

Other retailers, including Wal-Mart, Sears, online marketplace website eBay and craft sales website Etsy, have said they will stop allowing sales of 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,” Wal-Mart spokesman Brian Nick said in a statement, Reuters reported Monday.

And prominent Pennsylvania-based flag manufacturer Valley Forge Flag said that it would no longer make or sell the Confederate battle flag, Reuters reported Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement came a day after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that the Confederate battle flag should be removed from the front of the State House in Columbia.

She said Monday that “150 years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come. This is a moment in which we can say that the flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our state.”

In Mississippi, where voters in 2001 chose to keep the Confederate battle emblem as part of the state’s flag, state House Speaker and Republican Philip Gunn said it should now be removed.

“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn said in a statement, the Clarion-Ledger reported.

These remarks came after Dylann Roof, 21, allegedly shot and killed nine African-Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last week. Following the shooting, evidence emerged of Roof displaying the Confederate battle flag and supporting white supremacist ideas.

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