By Tuesday afternoon, sales of a 3x5 Confederate flag on Amazon had jumped nearly 4,600 percent, presumably in response to the controversy generated by the shooting and its aftermath. Sales of a similar flag rose nearly 3,300 percent ~ Quote from a HuffPo article by Andrew Lord, Amazon Bans Confederate Flag Merchandise. 6/23/2015 would be the Tuesday in question as well as publish date for the article.
With my prior commentary (SWTD #296) I addressed the question of the removal of "Confederate Flag items" from retail stores, including major retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. My conclusion was that this was the right decision.
Well, it appears as though I spoke too soon. I sell on Amazon, and today I was notified that an item in my inventory is now prohibited.
|Hello from Amazon. We are writing to let you know that the following detail pages have been removed from our catalog:|
ASIN: B0015J9TU2, SKU: MN-5P28-QCML, Title: "the blue and the gray [soundtrack] [audio cd] bruce broughton".
This item has been identified as confederate flag merchandise. Amazon policy prohibits the listing or sale of confederate flag merchandise.
For more information on our policies, search on "Restricted Products" and "Listing Restrictions" in Seller Help.
**Action Required: Within 48 hours of this notice, please review your remaining listings and make any changes necessary to ensure compliance with our policies.
Failure to comply with this request may result in the removal of your selling privileges.
We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for selling on Amazon.com.
I should have said that I thought removing "Confederate Flag merchandise" was a good idea - if they did the removing intelligently. The item in question here, a film score to a TV mini-series
about the Civil War that features the Civil War as a backdrop, does feature an image of the Confederate battle flag, but it is mostly obscured, in the background, and below an image of the American flag (see pic below).
This isn't even the mini-series itself, but the orchestra score from the mini-series. I took out my copy and an listening to it right now (as I type this). I am in no way offended (although I'm not African American).
Removal of actual flags, or of clothing items that featured the flag is what I thought they were talking about. Removing movies on DVD or blu-ray (or the soundtracks from movies) is pure stupidity IMO.
In any case, the reason Amazon notified me of this is because the item is in my inventory... although it is an "Inactive/Out of Stock" item... because this film score on CD is a sold out (from the manufacturer) limited edition (2000 copies) that I sold out of. I did sell it (and made a profit due to it selling out from the manufacturer), but I shipped my last copy awhile ago. So, luckily, I'm not now stuck with a bunch of copies and no forum through which to sell them (I'm guessing it's banned on eBay as well).
I would be mad (instead of just shaking my head in regards to the stupidity of this) if I had any copies left. On the other hand, they may now be more valuable... if I could find a way to connect with a buyer who really wanted it. But, like I said, I don't have any more - except my own personal copy, which I kept because I am a fan of the composer, not because I am a fan of the 1982 miniseries.
Which I do believe I saw when it aired, but on which my memory is very foggy. All I remember is that one of the actors was Stacy Keach... and that's about it.
Synopsis of the miniseries from Wikipedia... although, remember, what Amazon is objecting to is not the miniseries, but the score (orchestral music) from the mini-series (as released on CD).
|The Blue and the Gray is a television miniseries that first aired on CBS in three installments on November 14, November 16, and November 17, 1982. Set during the American Civil War, the series starred John Hammond, Stacy Keach, Lloyd Bridges, and Gregory Peck as President Abraham Lincoln. It was executive produced by Larry White and Lou Reda, in association with Columbia Pictures Television. A novel of the same name by John Leekley, Bruce Catton and Ian McLellan Hunter was published as a companion to the series in 1983. The colors in the title refer to United States Army and Confederate States Army uniforms of the period, respectively.|
The plot revolves around the families of two sisters; Maggie Geyser and Evelyn Hale. The Geysers are farmers from Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Hales own a small newspaper in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Geysers are generally indifferent to the issue of slavery, but are sympathetic to the Southern cause. The lone exception in the family is son John, an artistic young man who becomes sympathetic to the plight of Southern slaves and free Negroes. The Hales are pro-Union and anti-slavery, but, like many Northerners at the time, they hope for a peaceful solution to the nation's problems.
Even stupider (?), the DVD of the actual mini-series (not the film score) *is* still available on Amazon (here, as a 3-DVD set). I do not, however, see a Confederate flag included in the cover image (including in the background)... which must be why you can still buy it.
I have to confess that am no longer sure if Amazon (and other retailers) getting rid of merchandise featuring the Confederate battle flag was a good idea. If Amazon had banned actual flags (full size or mini) and (perhaps) clothing items... I think that would have been enough. But a movie score CD being banned? That is ridiculous (IMO).
Also, Amazon is still selling (via a 3rd party vendors as well as Amazon itself, depending on the item) an actual flag, this Rebel Flag Notebook, a 1969 General Lee Dodge Charger Model Kit, a book titled "The South was Right" which features the Confederate battle flag on it's cover (although the content is likely a lot more offensive), another (Kindle) book titled "A Confederate Flag Turned Me Gay" (again, with an image of the offending flag on the cover), etc, etc.
Why haven't these items been removed, Amazon?
Image: Front cover image from the "Blue and the Gray" audio soundtrack CD (2-disc set) by Bruce Broughton. Released by Intrada Records as a part of their Special Collection (Volume ISC 57). Sale of this 2-CD set of orchestral music is now prohibited on Amazon.