Skip to comments.SCANA modifies Confederate flag policy;Maurice Offers 'Free Lunch' to SCANA Employees
Posted on 08/22/2002 12:18:01 PM PDT by PJeffQ
SCANA officials are clarifying their position on the Confederate flag, even as Maurice Bessinger fires another volley against the company's policies.
A press released issued by SCANA Wednesday says the company has never banned the Confederate flag, or issued a ruling telling employees not to eat at certain restaurants.
CEO Bill Timmerman says the company's Code of Conduct tries to prevent divisive symbols which may harass other employees. Timmerman says as long as it's meant as heritage it would be okay for an employee to display a Confederate emblem while at work.
He also says employees can eat at Maurice Bessinger restaurants--just not in a company vehicle. He says it's in response to Bessinger's pro-slavery views.
In response, Bessinger released a press release Wednesday saying all SCE&G employees, the energy company that's a subsidiary of SCANA, could eat for free at his stores if they showed up in a company vehicle. If they bring their company identification, they can eat at half price.
He also says employees can eat at Maurice Bessinger restaurants--just not in a company vehicle.
Posted on Tue, Aug. 20, 2002
Dining dilemma a shock to our system
SCANA's recent decision to bar employees from driving its company vehicles onto the property of Maurice Bessinger's barbecue restaurants, all of which prominently display the Confederate flag, is a controversial one.
The SCANA directive draws a line in the sand by citing Bessinger's divisiveness as a public figure. (No word yet, however, on whether Bessinger has decided to retaliate by banning his employees from using electricity.)
Now while we don't have a huge problem with this policy, we do have some concerns about its having a wider ripple effect, as other major corporations begin to examine where they're going to allow their employees to grab a spot of lunch.
Don't think this could happen? Well, we got a memo Monday from Talk About Town Inc., our parent company in Bismarck, N.D., that outlines exactly where we'll no longer be able to drive the company-owned Talkmobile for a bite of chow.
The list, not surprisingly, includes Maurice's Barbecue, but not for his flying of the flag. The reason cited by the memo was TAT Inc.'s "staunch opposition to mustard-based barbecue."
OK, fair enough. The flavor of barbecue sauces really can excite passions. But what really bothered Talk was the reasoning behind banning us from parking at a string of other eating establishments around town. Some of it was extremely hard to swallow. (Get it? Hard to swallow?)
For instance, we can't dine at Burger King, because the home office "has profound objections to flame-broiling burgers."
But we also can't take a trip to McDonald's, since the memo cited its worry that "Ronald McDonald wears way too much makeup."
We can't go to Lizard's Thicket either, because company policy now strictly forbids us from frequenting "any restaurant that features the name of a reptile with an elongated, scaly body, four legs and tapering tail."
We can't go to Gilligan's, because corporate honchos refuse to let us visit places that "conjure up images of goofy sitcom characters who wear lame hats."
The list really goes on and on, with the following explanations from the TAT CEO:
Yesterdays: "No sad Beatles songs."
Mr. Friendly's: "Too friendly-sounding."
Willy's: "A guy named Willy once picked on us in third grade."
Mangia Mangia: "No foreign language names."
Fuddruckers: "Too easy to mispronounce in a rude way."
The toughest part about sorting through this directive is figuring out where we can eat. But being a good company man, we will abide by the edict. After all, they do own the Talkmobile.
You're not going to see us overreact like state Sen. Glenn McConnell, the Charleston Republican, who's ready to pull the plug on South Carolina's electricity over SCANA's decision. (Plus it strikes us that McConnell's proposed bill to require all SCE&G linemen to eat lunch every day at Piggie Park probably doesn't stand a very good chance of passing next year.)
Today when we go to lunch, we'll just have to play it safe. By the way, can you drive?
Call Talk at (803) 771-8643 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If that's the case then the company must allow the employees to return ON COMPANY TIME to their place of employment to swap vehicles, then take their normal lunch in their personal vehicle, then return to their place of employment to swap vehicles a second time, and then back ON COMPANY TIME to the job site.
Of course these employees would observe all posted speed limits on those EXTRA trips.
If SCANA refuses the employees should contact their local police department/District Attorney - the discrimination against the Confederate flag is illegal under South Carolina statute 16-17-220 (Desecration or mutilation of United States, Confederate or State flags). It's iilegal in Georgia as well.
From: "CUSTOMER REPLIES: WM Stores & Sam's Clubs" <email@example.com> | Block address
Subject: Response from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Ref #000000001234856)
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 10:29:24 -0500
Thank you for your message.
Thank you for contacting us regarding our decision to discontinue
selling Maurice's barbecue sauce.
Our decision has nothing to do with the Confederate flag or the
After researching Mr. Bessinger's history and present day business
practices, Wal-Mart and SAM'S Club found that Mr. Bessinger's company is distributing materials that are contrary to one of our core principles, respect for the individual.
In fact, the following is a direct excerpt from "Biblical View of
Slavery," a message by Pastor John Weaver that is distributed by Maurice Bessinger in some of his restaurants:
"I am going to show you not only biblically, but historically how especially many of those African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America. Because what they had over here was far better than what they had over there."
We hope this clarifies our position on this matter and that you will
continue to shop with us.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
For futher correspondence regarding this issue, please reply to this
----Your Original Comments Were----
Why have you discontinued carrying Maurice's BBQ at Wal-Mart & Sam's
It seems you have no trouble carrying products made from components in
China or other foreign countries, but you discontinue a patriotic American's
products because of the flag he flies?
I would like to hear a response from Wal-Mart executives on this issue.
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Thanks to the controversy, I started buying his sauce and supporting Maurice!