FORT SMITH (KFSM)- A Fort Smith woman has to make other plans for her nephew's gift after she said Walmart refused to sell her the class ring she ordered because it had a the Confederate flag on it.
Elaine Glidewell said the store called her to come pick it up, but when she got there she was told they could not sell her the ring.
“I wanted to cry," she said. "I stood there with tears in my eyes."
Glidewell said she was going to give the ring to her nephew, who graduated from Southside High School this year.
“I went to Walmart, ordered his ring just like he wanted it," she said. "I got the mascot on the ring, the Rebel, and I guess what you would say the Confederate flag. I ordered the ring, they said it would take four to six weeks for the ring to come in.”
She said she went to pick it up at the Walmart on Zero Street Tuesday (July 7).
"They wouldn't let me have the ring. It had a note on it, was in a plastic bag, it said do not sell. It was signed by the store manager,” Glidewell said.
Glidewell said the ring was worth $320 and she got a refund.
“Walmart announced several weeks ago that we would no longer be able to provide merchandise promoting the Confederate flag,” Brian Nick, the director of national media relations for Walmart, said. “So, in this instance a customer wanted to complete the purchase of a ring with a Confederate flag on it so we refunded the customers money.”
Walmart announced the change to its merchandise policy the last week of June. Glidewell said she ordered the ring in May.
“[The store employee] said 'well, we are going to melt it' and I said ‘you are going to melt my ring?’ And he said 'we can’t sell it,'” Glidewell said.
Glidewell said she's determined to find her nephew a ring before he leaves for college.
“I would give anything to have that ring. Anything. Just because it means so much to him,” Glidewell said.
Nick said Walmart is working with Glidewell to put her in touch with the third-party distributor that makes class rings.