By Elaine Magliaro
Last week—during the gubernatorial debate in South Carolina—Democratic candidate Sen. Vincent Sheheen said that the Confederate flag at the statehouse should “be retired to a museum.” Sheheen added, “I think the people of South Carolina are tired of having an image across America that’s not truly who we are…” He continued by saying that everyone should “rally together under a flag that unites us all, the American flag, that looks toward the future, and not the past.”
In her response to Sheheen, Governor Nikki Haley admitted that the Confederate flag was a “sensitive” issue. Still, she defended the flag’s presence at the statehouse and rejected the idea of removing it. While Haley conceded that South Carolina “had suffered an image problem in the past”—she claimed that her state “had moved beyond those days.” Haley added, “What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”
Well, there you have it! Not one single CEO that the governor has spoken with informed her that having a Confederate flag on display at the statehouse was “problematic.” In fact, the issue was never discussed. Case closed. Move along, Mr. Sheheen. Nothing more to discuss on the issue of having a Confederate flag at the statehouse—as long as CEOs don’t object.
Haley added that the state “kind of fixed” the former image problem, anyway. It was solved when voters “elected the first Indian-American female governor.” She continued, “When we appointed the first African-American U.S. senator, that sent a huge message.”
So…there you have it. There’s no problem with a Confederate flag at the statehouse in South Carolina because, you know, CEOs haven’t filed a complaint with her.
Nikki Haley talks about the Confederate flag at a South Carolina debate
Nikki Haley: It’s OK to have the Confederate flag at the statehouse because not “a single CEO” has complained–Asked whether stars and bars should be removed from statehouse grounds, the Tea Partier says there’s no need (Salon)