(Reuters) - Walmart (WMT.N) said it will not display in its stores the flag of the U.S. state of Mississippi, which includes a Confederate flag emblem, and is separately reviewing if items sold on its website in Canada breached its terms after online outrage over “All Lives Matter” products on the site.
The company said on Tuesday it will no longer display the Mississippi state flag in its stores while the state debates whether to make changes to its design after it drew opposition.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention, with over 500,000 members at more than 2,100 churches, called on state leaders to adopt a new flag, saying lawmakers have a moral obligation to remove the emblem from the state flag as it “hurt and shamed” many people.
“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,” a Walmart spokesman said.
In the ongoing global ant-racism demonstrations, protesters have demanded that authorities take down monuments, emblems and statues honoring pro-slavery Confederate figures and the architects of Europe’s colonies.
The protests have spread since an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while detaining him in Minneapolis on May 25.
Separately, social media users complained over links to products like an “All Lives Matter” shirt for sale on the Walmart Canada site.
The company said the product was shipped and sold by a third party seller and that it was being looked into.
Walmart added it was reviewing items in its “third-party marketplace” with variations of the phrase ‘lives matter’ to ensure compliance with “terms and conditions”.
“This item is sold and shipped by a third party seller and is currently being looked into”, Walmart Canada said.
Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall & Simon Cameron-Moore