THINKPIECE: South Carolina’s insistence on flying the flag of the Confederacy is costing it millions of dollars

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.

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

States.



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.



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