Amazon started removing items featuring the Confederate flag from its website Tuesday, though earlier in the day the online retailer's fastest increase in sales was Confederate flags. Screenshot/Amazon.com
SEATTLE, June 23 (UPI) -- Amazon began yanking its Confederate flag-related products Tuesday just hours after the items began rising to the top of the website's list of popular sellers.
One day after Walmart declared it would no longer sell items featuring the Confederate flag, Amazon followed suit. Clicking on links to items like the Confederate flag or rebel flag-themed boxer shorts took customers to an empty webpage Tuesday afternoon.
"We're sorry," the message on the page says. "The web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site."
Earlier in the day, the top five items in Amazon's "Movers & Shakers" webpage were variations on the Confederate flag. The page features the company's "biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours."
The Ruffin Flag Co. in Georgia saw a 2,305 percent increase in sales of its Confederate flag on the list.
"Of course sales go up when people are talking about it," Ruffin representative David Simpson told CNBC. "That much is true with any flag, the same happened with the U.S. flag in 2001."
Sears, eBay, Etsy and Target also moved to distance themselves from Confederate flag merchandise Tuesday.
The moves took place on the heels of a debate sparked by the racially motivated shooting deaths of nine people at a Charleston, S.C., church Wednesday.
On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Capitol. Later that night, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said the Confederate emblem should no longer be on the Mississippi state flag.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday he wants to phase out a license plate with the emblem. The Supreme Court ruled last week that Texas can refuse a license plate featuring the flag.