Nine years after the Confederate flag was moved from the State House dome, the flag remains on the capitol grounds. And it's still an issue.
The ACC recently canceled plans for a baseball tournament in Myrtle Beach in deference to the NAACP boycott over the flag. Those who believed that the flag compromise in 2000 would quiet the controversy were wrong. And it's time to discuss whether the boycott has run its course.
The NAACP stands on deeply held principle. Many see the Confederate flag as a symbol of the shame of slavery and racism. But is it really in our best interest to turn away business that could help stimulate our state's economy and put people back to work? Our state is reeling from record unemployment, and the bleak economy threatens further cuts in government services.
It's time to refocus our attention from the past. As polarizing as the flag is, legislators seem to have no appetite for moving it yet again. And opponents of the flag should welcome more national attention on South Carolina's internal debate, rather than turning away out-of-state visitors.
I urge the NAACP to reconsider the impact of trying to keep business out of our state. Without closing the door on the flag issue, it's time to view the flag controversy as a separate matter. At the same time, let's re-commit to growing jobs and restoring prosperity for all of our citizens.