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Walmart to remove Confederate flag merchandise

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The nation's largest retailer said Monday that it will remove all Confederate flag merchandise from its stores. Retail locations and Walmart.com currently carry the Confederate flag as well as attire featuring the flag's design, such as T-shirts and belt buckles, according to CNN, which asked several major companies about selling such merchandise. Walmart's announcement is the latest indication that the flag, which is to some a symbol of the slave-holding South, has become toxic in the aftermath of a shooting last week at a historic African-American church in Charleston. Gov. Nikki Haley announced in a Monday afternoon news conference that she supports removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds, reversing her previous position of leaving the flag at the Confederate Memorial.

"This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state," the second-term governor said, in an announcement that drew thunderous applause and cheers. Walmart spokesman Brian Nick said the store never wants "to offend anyone with the products we offer." "We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment - whether in our stores or on our website," he said. "We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly. This is one of those instances."

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