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Arkansas store owner halting sales of Confederate flags


The owner of an Arkansas flag store will no longer sell Confederate flags. (NeilLockhart/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A longtime Arkansas business owner is bidding farewell to a remnant of the Old South.

Frustrated by how extremists have co-opted the Confederate flag, Kerry McCoy has put her foot down and will no longer be selling the item at her store.

“When I think about how I want people to view the South and how I want to be thought about, that does not represent us,” said McCoy, who has owned the Little Rock-based for over 40 years.

On Wednesday, she wrote a blog post explaining why she refuses to sell the flag anymore. The last day her Confederate flags will be for sale will be June 15 — four days before Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the 1865 abolition of slavery in Texas.

“Those servicemen may have fought and died for decisions made in error but their duty and honor was never in doubt,” she wrote. “I want to believe our nation is more educated and wiser than some of our ancestors and that, through remembrance of their sacrifices and mistakes, we will learn as a nation.”

The decision is a sharp turnaround from just four years ago when McCoy wrote that there shouldn’t be flag censorship in the wake of the murder of nine black congregants at Emanuel African Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

“It’s not the flag that killed those innocent people, and maybe it’s a bigger issue and we’re not focusing on what the bigger issue is.”

Business reportedly boomed after that 2015 post as numerous historical groups bought the flags for historical productions or to preserve the symbol, reported TV station THV.

But after seeing the symbol being “used to incite genocide” at the home of a Saskatchewan resident who was proudly flying Confederate and Nazi flags at his home, she experienced a change of heart.

“I realize that it’s not being used in the same way our ancestors had wanted to use it,” McCoy told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It has lost its original meaning. The flag’s purpose wasn’t to divide us — it was to unite.”