Walmart has agreed to remove shirts displaying the former Soviet Union after three Baltic nations complained about the images, but Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers said Tuesday the shirts should not have been sold at all.
“They shouldn’t have been sold in the first place, but this is the right call by Walmart,” the Washington Republican tweeted. “There’s nothing ‘cool’ about products with symbols that represent oppression, murder, and the violation of human rights for life & liberty.”
Her comment was linked to a tweet from Baltic News Lithuania, reported the retail giant had told the Lithuanian ambassador it will stop selling products with Soviet hammer and sickle symbols after criticism surfaced about the images.
The nations, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had been annexed by force by Moscow in 1940, and stayed part of the Soviet Union until it collapsed in 1991, except for three years during World War II, when they were occupied by Nazi Germany.
The Associated Press reports that Rasa Jakilaitiene, Lithuania’s foreign minister spokeswoman said her country’s foreign ministry got a letter from Walmart confirming the items will be removed.
Walmart reportedly has not commented about when the clothing items will be removed from its website. As of Tuesday morning, the company’s website still had several of the clothing items available for sale.
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