Mayor Bob Coble paused en route to Deutschland to post these thoughts on my recent post on the flag issue:
Brad, I am on a plane from Atlanta to Frankfurt for an economic
development mission with S.C. Commerce. (This email address will reach
me on my blackberry until Thursday). One focus of the trip is fuel
cells. Neil McLean of Engenuity is also on the trip. I quickly read
your blog about the flag, and responded, before we left Atlanta.
It seems that a number of factors have converged that warrant another
concerted effort to move the flag to an appropriate location.
- South Carolina and Columbia really are entering the knowledge
economy. The State’s hydrogen series two weeks ago, the Horizon and
Discovery Buildings actually coming
out of the ground, the hiring of
John Parks as the Innovista’s executive director, and the announcement
of Innovista’s first tenant, Duck Creek, all confirm that the
potential for success is real. The Confederate flag represents the
antithesis of these efforts, and is always the first or second question
about what kind of place South Carolina really is.
- The Presidential Primaries are enormous opportunities to
re-introduce South Carolina and Columbia to the nation. Columbia is
doing a Presidential Primary Committee to present our positive message
to the national media. (I will be personally standing at our kiosk at
the airport). In reality the purpose of this effort is to present an
alternate view to the confederate flag. What a perfect time to try to
just move the flag. The eyes of the nation, for good or bad, would be
on us as we try.
- The Don Imus matter is causing the nation to review the issues of
race, sexism etc. Why shouldn’t the appropriateness of the flag on the
Statehouse grounds be reviewed as well.
- The statement of Coach Spurrier adds a new perspective to the
debate. The story by Joe Persons online said that Spurrier was not
trying to be a politician and that the flag was not impacting
recruiting. He just wanted South Carolina to do better and be more
progressive. That is powerful.
I agree with you. We should form an organization and move forward now. Maybe just call a meeting and see who shows up.
I think we should do just that. I’m going to try to get started on that Monday.