Confederate flag
There have been calls to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds following the Charleston shootingGetty

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has announced it will no longer sell any products bearing the Confederate flag in the wake of the South Carolina church shooting.

There have been increasing calls to take down the flag which has been flown on state and capital grounds for more than 50 years following the deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston.

The suspect in the shooting, Dylann Roof, is a white supremacist who has been linked to an online manifesto calling for a "race war" and has been photographed with the flag which is widely seen as a symbol for racism and slavery in the US.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are among those calling for the removal of the Confederate flag.

Walmart, who also own Asda, has now announced it will now longer be selling any Confederate merchandise online or in any of its 11,000 stores.

Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN: "We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment - whether in our stores or on our web site.

"We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly - this is one of those instances."

Haley received widespread support for her calls to remove the controversial flag in the wake of the Charlestown massacre.

She said: "150 years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come. There will be some in our state who see this as a sad moment. I respect that. But know this, for good or for bad whether it is on the state house grounds or in a museum the flag will always be part of the soil of South Carolina.

"But this is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."