Amid the national debate surrounding the appropriateness of the Confederate battle flag, a Louisiana man requested that his local Wal-Mart bakery make him a cake with an image of the controversial flag.
When the store refused, Chuck Netzhammer returned the next day and asked them to make a cake with the symbol of Iraqi-Syrian militant group Islamic State instead. This time, Walmart said yes.
“They cheerfully did it and sold me my [IS] cake,” the man wrote beneath a video he posted on You Tube.
Walmart officials say the associate who made the Islamic State cake did not know the flag's meaning.
“Our talented bakery associates take pride in what they create for our customers,” Wal-Mart spokesman John Forrest Ales said in a statement to The Washington Post. “It’s unfortunate that one customer sought to take advantage of an associate who did not know the flag or its meaning. This cake should not have been made and we apologize for the mistake.”
Following the shooting of nine people on June 17 at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., a historic black church, many have called for individuals and official buildings across the country to stop using the Confederate flag. Consequently, companies such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Sears, and Wal-Mart have since begun removing Confederate flag-themed items from their list of available products.
“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer,” Wal-Mart spokesman Brian Nick said last week in a statement. “We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site.”
The decision has sparked some backlash from customers such as Mr. Netzhammer, the man responsible for requesting the IS cake, who say that the Confederate flag is part of their heritage.
On Friday, Netzhammer posted the video of himself addressing Wal-Mart while sitting on a motorcycle and holding up a Confederate battle flag that reads ‘Heritage Not Hate’. The video has been viewed more than 500,000 times.