Company says bakery associate wasn’t aware of flag’s meaning after man posted video saying company was ‘alienating southern Americans’

Walmart has apologized after selling a customer an Isis flag cake.
Walmart has apologized after selling a customer an Isis flag cake. Photograph: Marc F. Henning / Alamy/Alamy

Walmart has apologized after selling a Louisiana man a cake featuring the battle flag of Islamic State, after refusing to sell him one featuring the Confederate battle flag.

Chuck Netzhammer, a self-described “loyal customer” to Walmart, wanted an image of the Confederate flag – the flag of the slave-holding Southern states that unsuccessfully attempted to secede from the union in the 19th century – with the phrase “Heritage Not Hate” printed across the banner to be put on the cake. He ordered it at a Walmart in Slidell, Louisiana on 25 June.

He said the bakery denied his order. Walmart and several other companiesremoved all products bearing the Confederate flag from their stores last week, as controversy raged over the flag following the killing of nine people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Netzhammer said he then ordered a cake with the Islamic State flag, which the retailer baked and sold to him.

“I went back yesterday and managed to get an Isis battle flag printed. Isis happens to be somebody who we’re fighting against right now who are killing our men and boys overseas and are beheading Christians,” Netzhammer said in a videouploaded to YouTube.

In the video, Netzhammer opens the box with the cake, and shows the camera a receipt for it, along with a form denying the Confederate flag request.

“Walmart, can you please explain why you are alienating southern Americans with this trash that you allow to be sold in your store, while at the same point Confederate flag memorabilia is not allowed?” he asked.

Walmart spokesman John Forrest Ales said the cake depicting the Islamic State battle flag was made by mistake by an associate who did not recognize the flag.

“Our talented bakery associates take pride in what they create for our customers. It’s unfortunate that one customer sought to take advantage of an associate who did not know the flag or its meaning. This cake should not have been made, and we apologize for the mistake,” Ales told the Guardian.

Explaining the move to ban the Confederate flag from Walmart stores, spokesman Brian Nick told CNN last week: “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment, whether in our stores or on our website.

“We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly – this

[the selling of items featuring the Confederate flag] is one of those instances.”

The move followed an announcement from South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who said last Monday that she would take steps to remove the Confederate battle flag that has flown on the statehouse grounds for more than 50 years in light of the Charleston church shooting.