Beyonce and Jay Z
Jay Z and Beyonce are not buying the Confederate flag Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

For many Americans, the Confederate battle flag is either a symbol of southern pride or a constant reminder of the horrors of slavery.

But the fight to abolish the controversial flag was given an injection of glamour when a story claiming Beyonce and Jay Z were attempting to buy the rights to it started making the rounds on online.

According to Newswatch33, the music power couple are trying buy the rights to the Confederate flag to prevent further use because they believe it is "tearing the country apart".

"My clients are adamant about purchasing the rights to the Rebel Confederate flag," their lawyer Ralph Hammerstein is reported to have told the site.

"They have expressed deep concern regarding the flag and how it is tearing apart our nation. My clients have expressed that they are not looking to profit from the use of the flag, but rather prevent any further use of the flag on merchandise."

The emblem was originally the battle flag of the southern states during the American Civil War when they tried to break away to prevent the abolition of slavery. South Carolina lawmakers raised it over the statehouse in 1961.

The article claimed that if the Drunk In Love hitmaker and her rapper husband succeeded in acquiring the rights, it would set them back $280m (£182.34m). The move would also mean they could potentially sue anyone that uses it on merchandise.

But a quick scan of Reddit revealed the couple will be doing no such thing.

While they will not be buying the rights, the couple have emerged as advocates for the civil rights movement in recent years. During the Baltimore riots − triggered by the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from injuries sustained while in police custody – they used their money to bail out those arrested and Queen B also shared links to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), urging fans to donate money to help clean up the city.

Earlier in July, South Carolina's Senate approved a bill to remove the Confederate flag from capitol grounds with an overwhelming 37-3 vote following a debate.

"[The] flag is part of our history, not our future," State Senator Larry Martin said, noting it "does not represent all of the people of South Carolina".

On 27 June, Bree Newsome scaled the flag pole and removed the flag, only to be arrested and have the flag put back up. She took matters into her own hands days after it was linked to gunman Dylann Roof, who killed nine people at a Charleston church in June.