A few years ago, The Post and Courier published a letter to the editor I submitted.
That letter underscored how the Confederate battle flag was an economic drag on South Carolina’s economy. The opinion was not based on a general observation but on the effect the flag was having on my own business.
For years, my company provided corporate social responsibility training for many of the nation’s largest corporations. Several of those companies balked at sending executives to South Carolina mainly because of a perception (right or wrong) that the state fostered discrimination and inequality — a perception based, at least in part, by where and how the state displayed the Confederate flag. Consequently, those training sessions were moved to Georgia.
More recently, my company has brought over 200 large nonprofit organizations from throughout the U.S. to Charleston to participate in advanced management education programs.
While Charleston won rave reviews for its charm and hospitality, the state consistently came under fire. “Why is South Carolina so backward?” “How can your state justify flying a flag that offends so many?”
The management program was moved to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.
Gov. Nikki Haley told the media she never heard from business leaders upset with the flag’s location. Maybe that’s true. But it is also a certainty that there are corporate and nonprofit leaders — some of whom are now speaking out — who definitely want the flag removed from the Capitol grounds.
To those state legislators who do not recognize the flag as an objectionable symbol that deeply divides our state, then vote to remove the flag for purely economic reasons. Regardless of its historical meaning, it is a banner that is bad for business.
Business & Nonprofit Strategies, Inc.
Shell Ring Circle