Amazon.com has almost pulled down all its Confederate flag merchandise from its site, following three other major U.S. retailers, including Walmart, Sears and eBay.
The retailers are all banning merchandise in the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The flag has become a symbol of racism and hatred, with government officials demanding that the flag be lowered from the statehouse.
Amazon was the last major retailer, and perhaps the largest to heed the call.
GeekWire reached out to a company spokesperson yesterday and today to see if the retailer was going to pull flag inventory from its marketplace. The phone calls and emails have gone unanswered, but CNN says an Amazon spokesperson this afternoon confirmed that it would also remove the merchandise. Later, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to GeekWire that the merchandise was being pulled deliberately.
As early as this morning, a search for “Confederate flag” on Amazon.com yielded more than 29,000 flags, blankets, knives and shower curtains.
In the wake of the flag controversy, sales have skyrocketed on Amazon.com, so it’s clear that not everyone feels it should be eliminated. Just yesterday, a U.S. Nylon flag being sold for $7.72 on Amazon was listed as the No. 1 Best Seller in outdoor flags and banners. Today, a polyester Confederate Rebel Flag for $5.75 has replaced it.
That flag pictured above has already disappeared from Amazon’s website.
Other Customers have shown their distaste for the products, by posting negative reviews and flooding chat forums on the retailer’s site.
A recent one-star review calls the Confederate flag bestseller “A great way to show the world you are an ignorant bigot!” Another like-minded reviewer says: “A convenient and inexpensive way to let everyone know how ignorant and hateful you are.” A third uses two words to make a point: “American Swastika.”
Earlier this morning, a post on Amazon’s discussion board, with the title of “No state has any business flying the confederate flag,” had 417 posts. Additional posts called “rebel flag” and “Confederate flag” had 42 and 15 replies, respectively.
In addition to politicians in South Carolina voicing their concerns, locally Mayor Ed Murray chimed in on the move by Amazon to ban Confederate products.
I'm pleased @Amazon will no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise.
— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) June 23, 2015