Former tourism commissioner: Flag is hurting state's image - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former tourism commissioner: Flag is hurting state's image

Rip Daniels, owner of WJZD radio, has long opposed the flag and adds that another issue to consider is the importance of marketing the state's image. (Photo source: WLOX) Rip Daniels, owner of WJZD radio, has long opposed the flag and adds that another issue to consider is the importance of marketing the state's image. (Photo source: WLOX)
The Confederate battle emblem in the corner of the Mississippi state flag continues to fan the flames of debate over whether or not it should be taken down or changed. (Photo source: WLOX) The Confederate battle emblem in the corner of the Mississippi state flag continues to fan the flames of debate over whether or not it should be taken down or changed. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (AP/WLOX) -

The Confederate battle emblem in the corner of the Mississippi state flag continues to fan the flames of debate over whether or not it should be taken down or changed.

Most of the calls for action have been based on reaction to the mass shooting in South Carolina by a self-avowed racist. Arguments against Confederate symbols are fueled by claims that the images are divisive, offensive and a remnant of slavery.

Radio commentator Rip Daniels, owner of WJZD radio, has long opposed the flag and adds that another issue to consider is the importance of marketing the state's image.

"You can't have an inhospitable banner and call yourself the hospitality state. It's a contradiction. It has hindered our growth economically and in tourism," said Daniels.

Daniels, formerly with the Harrison County Tourism Commission, thinks the image of the stars and bars sends a negative message to potential visitors, and that hurts the Coast's tourism industry.

"The data is that right now, room nights are down. Alabama and Louisiana are doing much better than we are and have been. The only way we should be comparing ourselves as a resort area is how many people are coming here and why some are not," Daniels said.

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