Hate or Heritage? The Role of Meetings in the Confederate Flag Controversy

By Marc Boisclair, September 20, 2015

On a summer night in June, a lone gunman took out a .45-caliber Glock pistol and fatally shot nine churchgoers during a prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina. For the public, the murders registered as reprehensible and racially motivated, as the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, made his personal biases clear in online rants and photographs. For hospitality professionals, the shootings struck an even deeper nerve: The crime took place at a meeting—a faith-based one, no less.

Roof’s anti-black paranoia aside, he surely didn’t intend for his heinous actions to spark a dialogue on the Confederate flag, never mind push for the flag itself to be removed from his state’s Capitol. Yet thanks to the location he chose (South Carolina, the only state still officially flying the Stars and Bars at that time) and his own social media postings (posing with both the flag and guns), Roof reignited the fiery debate on
how Americans view the Confederacy’s most enduring icon.

After a chorus of complaints, South Carolina’s legislature voted to take down its Confederate flag in mid-July. Still, the flag remains a ubiquitous presence across the South, from souvenir shops to license plates to promotional giveaways at sporting events—an image that most people, attendees included, can’t miss. It’s exactly the type of hot-button issue planners considering a Southern meeting would do almost anything to avoid.

(Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)

Author and public speaker Katherine Wolf discusses her inspirational recovery from a massive stroke.

In order to be creative, you must be vulnerable. Find out more tips on how to express yourself from creativity guru Timo Kiuru here.

Ray Ezelle, vice president of sales and services at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, says a metro-mountain mix is a recipe for success.

Host an event that truly gives back

During a recent speech at Leadercast, Andy Stanley challenged the way leaders often delegate.

Home-based and remote work are steadily increasing trends that are inspiring shared meeting and non-traditional work spaces.

Read More