'We believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism'

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose online auction site Ebay followed the lead of Walmart and Sears in taking a stance against the sales of Confederate flag items following the shooting of nine members of an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Ebay said in a statement that it will restricting listings of Confederate flags and items containing the design, but it’s not clear yet when and how this policy will be implemented.

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Ebay’s communications director Johnna Hoff told CBS SF,  “We continually monitor the approximately 800 million items on our site, and evaluate our policies to ensure they are consistent with our core purpose.”

Hoff added, “We have decided to prohibit Confederate flags, and many items containing this image, because we believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism. This decision is consistent with our long-standing policy that prohibits items that promote or glorify hatred, violence and racial intolerance.”

Based on a look at current items, this might mean things like the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee car models, that have a Confederate flag painted on top could be banned.

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The 21-year-old white man who confessed to the Charleston massacre has been seen in a widely circulated photo holding a Confederate flag and a gun. He said he wanted to begin a “race war.”

After the shooting, a trend of restricting the flag began across the nation as the design is viewed as a symbol of hate and racism flown over the pro-slavery South during Civil War times.

It has remained displayed, sold, and worn in various iterations today, and was even flown over the San Francisco City Hall as late as 1964.

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EDITORS NOTE: After consideration, CBS SF chose to use a photo of a Confederate flag on this post to illustrate the design that is being discussed.