National Park Service Pulls Confederate Flag Merchandise

Lydia O'Connor, Huffington Post, June 25, 2015

The U.S. National Park Service announced Thursday that it will remove Confederate flag merchandise from its bookstores and gift shops.

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“We strive to tell the complete story of America,” parks Director Jonathan Jarvis said in a press release. “All sales items in parks are evaluated based on educational value and their connection to the park. Any standalone depictions of Confederate flags have no place in park stores.”

Historic sites like Fort Sumter, South Carolina, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired, and major battlegrounds like Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and Vicksburg in Mississippi are run by the park service and remain popular with tourists.

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The park service said it will continue to sell Confederate flag items when they feature it in a historical or educational context, such as in books, DVDs and other media, so long as the flag cannot be detached from the item. It will also continue to include the flag in educational events such as reenactments, exhibits and other interpretive programs.

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