CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Wal-Mart says it is removing any items from its store shelves and website that feature the Confederate flag.
The announcement by the world's biggest retailer Monday comes as the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, have reignited the debate over the flag's symbolism. The white suspect in the shooting, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the banner.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that the flag should be removed from the statehouse grounds, acknowledging that to many the flag is a "deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past."
In a statement, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart says its goal is to not offend anyone with the products it offers.