A company that touts itself as “The Greatest Name In Flags” will no longer make or offer the Confederate flag, a move that comes one day after top political leaders in South Carolina called for the flag to be removed from statehouse grounds following last week’s deadly church shooting.
Valley Forge Flag, a major Pennsylvania-based U.S. flag manufacturer, said Tuesday that it will cease its production and sale of Confederate flags in the wake of the June 17 shooting in a historic black church in Charleston, Reuters reports. The shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which resulted in the deaths of nine people, brought longstanding contention over the Confederate flag to a boil in recent days after photographs surfaced of suspected gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, posing alongside the flag.
“We hope that this decision will show our support for those affected by the recent events in Charleston and, in some small way, help to foster racial unity and tolerance in our country,” the company said in a statement. Reggie Vandebosch, Vice President of Sales, added: “We do not want to continue to hurt people.”
The notice coincides with a wave of U.S. retailers that have pulled Confederate flag-themed products from their shelves and online stores, as well as a push to remove Confederate flags from some state license plates. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe called upon his attorney general and transportation secretary to stop issuing related plates and replace existing ones.
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has similarly spoken out in favor of a change to the design of the Mississippi state flag, which incorporates the Confederate battle emblem.