Banning the Confederate flag
It’s a symbol of southern heritage to some.
A symbol of slavery and segregation to others.
The Confederate flag has long been a source of controversy in the American south. That controversy is now boiling over in the wake of an alleged racially-motivated massacre in a South Carolina church.
21-year-old Dylann Roof is accused of gunning down nine people. He is also seen in several on-line photos posing with a Confederate flag.
The Governor of South Carolina now wants to remove the flag from the capital grounds. The Governor of Virginia announcing plans to remove the divisive symbol from state license plates.
Some of the biggest retailers in the U.S. have banned sales of the Confederate flag, including Walmart, Amazon, E-Bay, Sears and K-Mart.
And the controversy has even spilled over into Canada where at least one retail chain has followed suit. The Flag Shop has pulled the Confederate flag from its stores across the country.
"We do not condone nor will we support hatred, racism, slavery, fear, anger death, anything like that, says Susan Braverman, President of The Flag Shop. “It's not what we do."
Alan McLaughlin runs the local Flag Shop in Ottawa. He says the Confederate flag has never been a big seller anyway. And he says for those who have bought it, it likely doesn’t have the same meaning as it does in the southern states. "Sometimes it'd be people doing theme parties or doing country or they just like the flag design. You know we never heard any other reason why people would be buying them, frankly," he says.
Another flag retailer says he doesn’t stock the flag and never has. Brad Green of Ottawa’s World Of Maps says he will continue his policy of only special-ordering controversial flags for legitimate customers he can trust. "For a film studio. For a flag collector,” he says. “But someone who's got a name and an address and a phone number we can track down and we've dealt with them for a long time”