Party City, a costume and party supplies store, ordered one of its Virginia franchises to remove kids’ Confederate soldier costumes from its shelves following backlash regarding the racist outfit.
Caroline Brasler, an adoptive mother of two young black daughters, stated that she saw the Civil War costumes decorated with the Confederate flag on Sunday as she was shopping at the Party City store in Crossroads, Virginia, WUSA reported.
“The Confederate flag to me is a symbol of racism. To have that out there for a child to wear on Halloween sends so many horrible messages,” she told WUSA.
According to the outlet, one of the costumes had the label “Confederate Officer” and had a Confederate flag on the hat, while another one was meant to be Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Brasler stated that once she saw the costumes, she decided to take her daughters to a different store to get their Halloween costumes.
“We discuss race, we respect race. And to see something like that just flies in the face of everything I try to teach them to be proud young women,” she told the outlet.
Party City stated that these costumes had been only been on sale at the franchise location, but they were not available in any of their corporate-owned stores.
“At Party City, we do not tolerate racism or hatred of any kind, and we stand together in solidarity with our diverse colleagues, customers, and communities,” the company’s statement read. “As the leader in Halloween with more than 60 million customers per year, Party City supplies a broad assortment of costumes, none of which are meant to be offensive in any way.”
The company stated that they had asked the store as well as its other partners to take down the offensive costumes.
“We have reached out to our franchisees and other partners to remove it from all retail locations ASAP,” the statement read. “We know that as a company, we can and must do better.”
Sources: America Now