Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

Candidate for governor raises Confederate flag issue

The Confederate flag must be removed from the State House grounds if South Carolina is to attract jobs, according to one Democrat running for governor.

Thursday, Mullins McLeod, a Charleston attorney, released a plan to create jobs and reopened an old S.C. wound about whether it’s appropriate to fly the flag on Capitol grounds.

"We are not going to compete in a 21st century economy by prolonging 19th century arguments," McLeod wrote in a prepared statement.

"It is time for us to send a clear and unambiguous signal to the rest of the country, and the entire world, that South Carolina is better than what people see on the news, and that we are ready to make progress. By agreeing to move past this old argument once and for all, we will be telling the world that South Carolina is ready to lead again."

One other Democratic contender, Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden, said he too has believed for the past decade the flag should come down.

In 2000, state lawmakers brokered a compromise, moving the flag from atop the State House dome to a monument on the grounds.

The decision not to remove the flag from the grounds spawned a statewide boycott by the NAACP which is still in effect.

A majority of Republican gubernatorial candidates said in a Newberry debate last month the flag issue has been settled and they’re moving on.

On The Web:   www.thestate.com/politics/story/1036208.html