UPDATE: Amazon says it will pull Confederate merchandise

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UPDATE: Amazon just announced it will pull Confederate merchandise from its site, Reuters is reporting. Etsy is also pulling such items according to CNBC. And Target has pulled Confederate-themed costumes.

EARLIER: The controversy in South Carolina over the display of the Confederate flag seems to be sending an urgent message to Confederate flag collectors: get them while you can.

In the wake of Walmart, Sears, and eBay's announcements that they will stop selling Confederate merchandise, sales on Amazon of such goods are soaring, with purchases up more than 3,000 percent in the past 24 hours. Confederate flags currently rank first, second, and third in Amazon's "Movers & Shakers" list for the "Patio, Lawn & Garden" category.


Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The best-selling Confederate flag on Amazon's marketplace, shown on the left of the above screenshot, is made by Rhode Island Novelty and distributed by BlockBuster Costumes. Neither immediately responded to comment.

The second-best-selling one is manufactured by Washington, Georgia-based Ruffin Flag Company. Reached by Fusion, David Simpson, Ruffin's sales manager, said that the company does not intend to stop producing the flags.

"We support the people that fly or buy the flag for historic purposes," he said.

The flag's distributor, Alotta Signs, told Fusion that it has no plans to remove Confederate flags from Amazon unless its suppliers stop making them.


"We'll sell as many as we have," said David Pearson, the president of Alotta Signs.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.