By: Kristy Eppley Rupon –
The last two of the Confederate flags that flew outside Maurice’s BBQ restaurants in the Midlands came down quietly a couple of months ago.
Lloyd Bessinger, part of the second generation now running the restaurant chain, said the move is a purposeful shift away from the politics that were important to his father, Maurice, and toward focusing on the business.
Maurice Bessinger raised flags at his nine Midlands restaurants in 2000 as a protest when state lawmakers voted to bring down the Confederate flag flying above the State House dome.
The elder Bessinger, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in the ’70s, has not been involved in running the business for several years. Most of the flags at the restaurants quietly came down more than a year ago, Lloyd Bessinger said.
The family-run operation wants to stay neutral politically, appealing to Republicans and Democrats, Bessinger said.
“Dad liked politics,” he said. “That’s not something we’re interested in doing. We want to serve great barbecue.
“We want to get past that.”