Much is said regarding the importance and economic benefit of creating and protecting a corporate reputation. Recent events demonstrate that these concepts can be applied to more than just corporations. Growing evidence shows there are economic and societal benefits in implementing programs to further the reputation of cities, states, regions and countries.
Much is said regarding the importance and economic benefit of
creating and protecting a corporate reputation. Recent events
demonstrate that these concepts can be applied to more than just
corporations. Growing evidence shows there are economic and societal
benefits in implementing programs to further the reputation of cities,
states, regions and countries.
The current primaries and the issues involved are closely followed in
the court of public opinion. Recently, the attention of several
presidential candidates fell upon an unlikely topic - the battle flag of
the Confederate States of America, which is currently flying atop the
capitol in South Carolina.
Many South Carolinians are adamant that the flag is a symbol of their
heritage and has nothing to do with slavery or segregation. They cite
their legal right to fly it if they so choose. Detractors claim the flag
should be removed because it symbolizes a period of Southern history
focused on keeping blacks separate and unequal.
The Confederate flag does hold a place in our nation’s history -
alongside that of the British flag, which was flown by troops opposing
the 13 colonies’ move to separate from English rule. Both flags were
carried into battle by our forefathers. Both were defeated by the armies
of what is now the United States. Neither should be given a place of
honor atop a facility of any part of the government of the United
Regardless of which side of the debate one takes, South Carolina is
compromising its reputation by flying this flag. As with corporations,
this can damage the economic and social well being of the state, as well
as its neighbors, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
For more than 10 years, the state of Arizona has suffered from a similar
conflagration. A confrontational governor and a 1990 decision not to
recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day resulted in an estimated dollars
300 million in lost tourist revenue. Major businesses reversed plans to
locate offices in the state. Countless tax dollars were spent to
investigate charges of racism and corruption in the State government
and, more than ten years later, the national media continue to portray
Arizona as an example of backwardness and racism.
As the flag debate continues, the reputation of South Carolina, as well
as that of the entire Southeast, is taking a similar beating. Over the
past decade, the Southern states have made great economic strides -
improving their education systems, actively promoting redevelopment
efforts and positioning the area as a prime tourist destination. In
order to safeguard their reputations, the states surrounding South
Carolina should insist that the flag be removed.