A Walmart store in Decatur, Ala. is refusing to order a high school class ring for a recent graduate because of the high school’s rebel mascot.
Employees told newly-minted grad Aaron Browder and his mother that the rebel mascot symbolizes racism, reports the Decatur Daily.
The incident occurred on Sunday at the Decatur Walmart’s jewelry counter.
“I just stood there and thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” Browder told the Daily.
Browder is a graduate of West Morgan High School in Trinity, Ala., a town of about 2,000 just west of Decatur.
He wanted the words “West Morgan Rebels” to appear around the stone in the ring. On one side, he wanted West Morgan High’s rebel mascot. On the other side, he wanted either the school’s crest or an ROTC motif.
Browder and his mother went to Walmart for the class ring because the family lives on a fixed income and cannot afford to purchase the ring from Jostens, the famous class ring (and Super Bowl ring) manufacturer.
“We stood there looking at each other in complete disbelief, and then we just walked away,” Browder’s mother, Brenda Browder, told the local newspaper. “It took a while for the anger to set in.”
A Walmart spokesman said the reason the $485 billion multinational retail corporation has refused to order the ring is because the third-party vendor which would make the ring uses a generic rebel mascot containing the Confederate flag.