BUSINESS

Amazon Bans Confederate Flag Merchandise: Reports

06/23/2015 02:59 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2015
Amazon

Amazon is reportedly pulling the Confederate flag from its online store.

The e-commerce giant said Tuesday that it plans to remove all flags and related merchandise, according to reports from Reuters and The Washington Post. The move comes nearly a week after the massacre of nine black parishioners by an alleged white supremacist in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dylann Roof, the accused shooter, brandished Confederate flags in photos posted on his Facebook page and espoused violent, racist ideas in a manifesto posted online that he is believed to have written.

Over the past week, protesters have marched in South Carolina demanding that the flag, which flies on the grounds of the state capitol, be removed. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called on Monday for the flag to be removed.

By Tuesday afternoon, sales of a 3x5 Confederate flag on Amazon had jumped nearly 4,600 percent, presumably in response to the controversy generated by the shooting and its aftermath. Sales of a similar flag rose nearly 3,300 percent.

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But by 3:30 p.m. EST, the URLs for both items led to an error page.

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At least one of the top-selling flags was listed by an independent seller on Amazon’s marketplace. The ban appears to affect Confederate flag items listed both by individual sellers and by Amazon itself.

Amazon joined a growing group of retailers that plan to take Confederate flags off their shelves. On Monday, Walmart and Sears vowed to remove the banners and related items from their stores. Earlier on Tuesday, eBay banned Confederate flag paraphernalia from its website. So, too, did the online marketplace Etsy, known for its homemade crafts, which said it planned to remove all Confederate flag items from its site.

“Etsy’s policies prohibit items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred and these items fall squarely into that category,” spokeswoman Sara Cohen said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “Due to the nature of our platform, it is possible that a prohibited item may appear for sale on the site before our enforcement teams have a chance to remove it.”

She urged users on the site to report any items bearing the Confederate flag.

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