LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Southland community activist says he's planning to burn a Confederate flag Tuesday in support of a South Carolina effort to remove the historic flag from that state's capitol building.
Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope, said he would be joined by a coalition of African-American activists for a Confederate flag-burning ceremony and rally in South Los Angeles to urge South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to take down the flag.
The ceremony comes on the heels of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other civil rights activists demanding Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cease all Confederate flag sales after the shooting deaths of nine black church members in South Carolina refueled the debate over the flag's meaning.
Activists say ending sales of the flag by Amazon is even more critical after Walmart and Sears announced they would stop selling the Confederate Flag.
"Amazon is the nation's leading online retailer. It is also one of the leading online retailers of the Confederate Flag," said Hutchinson. "Amazon now has an opportunity to again prove it is a good corporate citizen and join with other major retailers, business leaders and elected officials that now call for an end to sales and displays of a symbol that stands for hate and bigotry
Wal-Mart said that it would remove all Confederate-themed items from its store shelves and website after the shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the flag.
However, companies that make Confederate flags and Confederate-themed products say that sales have already begun to surge and they have no plans to stop producing them.
"I don't sell the Confederate flag for any specific group, I just sell the flag," said Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas' FlagandBanner.com. "This is America. Everybody has a right to be represented whether you are a history buff or a nut."
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