Walmart to remove items with Confederate flag from shelves

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Walmart said Monday that it has begun to take steps to remove all items that promote the Confederate flag from its stores and website.

In a statement from the company, spokesman Brian Nick said Walmart wants to take steps not to "offend anyone with the products that we offer," he said.

"We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly - this is one of those instances."

Earlier Monday, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse. "This is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."

Controversy surrounding the flag was renewed after the mass shooting of nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church last week. The accused gunman, Dylann Roof, was pictured with a license plate bearing the Confederate flag, which he embraced with racist ideology.