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Walmart stops flying Mississippi state flag at its stores

Mississippi state leaders continue to face increasing pressure to redesign the state’s flag which currently displays a Confederate battle emblem. On Tuesday, Walmart, the nation’s biggest retailer and private employer, said it will no longer display the state flag in its current form at its Mississippi locations.

“We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders. 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.

Nationwide protests have led to calls to remove Confederate symbols and monuments honoring those who fought for slavery. The State of Mississippi is the last state to display the Confederate emblem on its flag. Mississippi also has the largest African American population in the country.

“We believe it’s the right thing to do, and is consistent with Walmart’s position to not sell merchandise with the Confederate flag from stores and online sites, as part of our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our customers in the communities we serve,” the spokesman added.

The SEC recently told the state that they might not allow SEC college sports championship events to be hosted in Mississippi if the flag is not changed.

“The SEC, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have all now publicly requested that the state flag in Mississippi be changed. As a Mississippian, I say, it’s obviously long overdue. This shouldn’t even be a debate but, somehow, it probably will be,” college basketball columnist Gary Parrish tweeted.

Walmart said it removed all items for sale online and in-store that promoted the Confederate flag in 2015. 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is not happy with current proposals in the state legislature to create a second flag.

“Over the weekend there has been a proposal floating amongst some in the legislature to create a second Mississippi flag. Let’s call it the Separate but Equal flag option,” the governor tweeted.

The Mississippi flag flies in front of state buildings, including the governor’s mansion, the state capitol building and local courthouses across the state.

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