In Governor Haley’s press conference yesterday, she had this to say regarding the Confederate flag that flies on the Statehouse grounds:
“First, this is South Carolina’s Statehouse. It is South Carolina’s historic moment. And this will be South Carolina’s decision. To those outside of our state, the flag may be nothing more than a symbol of the worst of America’s past. That is not what it is to many South Carolinians. This Statehouse belongs to all of us. Their voices will be heard, their role in this debate respected… But we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is a something we cannot stand. The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds – it is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.”
In 2000, prior to the General Assembly voting to remove the Confederate Flag from atop the S.C. Statehouse dome, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce was a vocal leader in supporting its removal. We join Governor Nikki Haley in calling for the state legislature to act in an expeditious manner. The business community of South Carolina expects the General Assembly to deal with this issue. The South Carolina Chamber mourns for those affected by the tragedy in Charleston, and we commend South Carolinians for responding with grace and unity. South Carolina is a great place to live, work and do business. This effort will only make it better.
On a related note, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s partner organization, SC BIPEC, has set up an education fund to help the children of Senator Clementa Pinckney. Reverend Pinckney is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and daughters Eliana, 11, and Malana, 6 years of age.
A contribution check may be made out to the Senator Clementa Pinckney Children’s Education Fund, BB&T, PO BOX 687, Columbia, SC 29201.