Clinton Won't Visit South Carolina For New Years

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - President and Mrs. Clinton will not be ringing in the New Year during the Renaissance Weekend at Hilton Head, South Carolina. However, they deny it is because of the announced NAACP boycott of the Palmetto State that is set to begin on January 1st.

The first lady's spokesperson Marsha Berry said the Clinton's will follow through on their long standing plans to remain in Washington for a Millennium Gala.

Columbia, South Carolina attorney Tom Turnipseed wrote the Clintons earlier this month, asking them to respect the NAACP boycott and forego their Renaissance Weekend party. The Clintons have attended the private New Year's Eve gathering for the past 14 years.

Meanwhile, South Carolina NAACP leaders intend to ask the Renaissance Weekend co-founders, Phil and Linda Lader to move their event out of the Palmetto State.

The national NAACP has endorsed the state organization's call for a tourism boycott of South Carolina because the Confederate flag still flies over the State House in Columbia. The NAACP cites the flag as a symbol of racism.

South Carolina NAACP President James Gallman said, "I would have preferred that Clinton say he believes in what we're doing and that is why he is not coming. But there are other major players that come to Renaissance Weekend and we would like to have those people not come."

South Carolina is the only state that still flies the Confederate Flag over its State House. Mississippi and Georgia incorporate the Confederate Flag into their state flags.

The South Carolina NAACP is holding its annual conference that began Thursday outside the state for the first time in 58 years because of the flag issue. The conference is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina.