Ken Coleman is Chairman of the international data analytics firm Saama Technologies. He's in the capital city for the TechJxn Summit. Coleman stresses that communities that don't embrace technology will be left behind. He says companies must recruit top talent, but attracting them to Mississippi is a challenge.
"The confederate flag for many, not just minorities, but for young white kids, it's synonymous with prejudice and discrimination. I think this state or any state will have a hard time attracting the best and the brightest with that symbol staring in people's face," said Coleman.
At the summit Governor Phil Bryant talked about the state's success with Telemedicine, company expansions and high tech research at state universities. He says any changes to the flag are up to voters.
"We've been doing good so for. I will tell you I believe if it's going to be changed, the people will have to make that decision," said Bryant.
Steven Campbell, a Mississippi native who lives in Atlanta, is launching an app for the hair industry. He says companies want to be associated with communities that are upbeat and positive. He doesn't like fielding questions about why they are doing business in Mississippi.
"That should not be well, why are you going to the state of Mississippi. Is everybody in the state of Mississippi racist and things like that. That is not the way you want to start off a conversation to bring business to this state," said Campbell.
Governor Bryant says, the state flag issue will be discussed in January, when the legislature is in session and it will likely be put to a statewide vote.