Please seems to be the word of the day from the National Park Service, which is asking but not requiring that its associated retailers join a growing effort to stop the sale of Confederate flags and related products in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre.
According to the Washington Post, spokeswoman Kathy Kupper wrote in an email Wednesday that “The National Park Service is asking its cooperating associations, concessions, and partners to voluntarily withdraw sales in their stores of Confederate flags and other items, such as stickers, that depict the Confederate flag as a stand-alone feature.”
The request comes after major U.S. retailers—including Walmart, Amazon, Sears, and eBay—pledged this week to stop selling Confederate flag-themed merchandise. A number of small and large retailers have pulled Confederate-related products from their offerings in response to mounting pressure after pictures of the man charged in the killings of nine black people emerged, showing him posing with the flag.
If successful, the request could have wide-reaching effects. The National Park Service is entrusted with the care of more than 400 parks across the nation, and its response to the Post noted more than 70 of them—including cemeteries, homes and other sites—”have resources that are related to the history of the Civil War.”