Major U.S. flag makers, retailers, and state lawmakers came out in condemnation of the Confederate flag on Tuesday, almost a week after nine black worshippers were gunned down in a Charleston church basement. South Carolina’s state legislature voted to allow a debate this summer over the flag’s placement on statehouse grounds. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said he favors discontinuing license plates featuring the flag. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal began seeking a redesign of state-issued, Confederate-themed vehicle license plates and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered similar plates to be phased out, saying, “[The flag’s] display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.”
Valley Forge Flag, a major U.S. flag maker, announced it will stop manufacturing and selling the flags, as part of an effort to, "in some small way, help to foster racial unity and tolerance in our country." Retailers Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Sears also announced bans on the sale of onfederate flag merchandise, with eBay spokeswoman Johnna Hoff calling the flag "a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism."