PANAMA CITY, Fla., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A Walmart spokesman said a 9/11-themed display at a Florida store was designed and created by Coca-Cola.
A photo of the display at the Walmart in Panama City, Fla., was posted to Twitter by user @online_shawn and immediately sparked outrage among online commentators who objected to the use of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sell Coke, as well as the arrangement of the Coke boxes to resemble the twin towers in front of an American flag.
"We will never forget," reads a banner bearing the Coca-Cola and Walmart logos.
Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson said the display was being removed following the online outcry.
Crowson told the Orlando Weekly the display was pitched to Walmart by Coke, and the store approved it.
"We hold this moment in our country's history in the highest regard, and there was nothing disrespectful intended by the display being assembled. It was removed from our Florida store Wednesday," Walmart said in a statement emailed to Mashable.
Coca-Cola spokeswoman Kimberly Kuo said the display was misinterpreted.
"This display was meant to honor local firefighters and to support their organization's upcoming event," she told CNBC. "We sincerely apologize that anyone was offended or misunderstood its intent, and we have replaced the display."