Forbes: Keep Old Glory on Top

By Bruce Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - Republican presidential contender Steve Forbes said Sunday that as long as the United States flag flies on top of the Confederate battle flag, states such as South Carolina should be allowed to decide for themselves the issue of displaying the Confederate flag on their capitol.

"My concern as a national candidate is that the American flag flies highest," Forbes said on ABC's This Week.

"I will only die for one flag, and that is Old Glory - the American flag. That is the unifying flag in this country. That represents our ideals of freedom and opportunity and equality. And if that flag is flying highest, what people do with other flags is up to them as long as Old Glory is on top," Forbes said.

Displaying the Confederate flag on top of the capitol dome in South Carolina has caused an uproar among the NAACP, which has called for its members to boycott the state's tourist industry.

Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is using the issue for political shrapnel in his primary campaign.

"It is troubling to me that so many Republican (presidential) candidates have spoken against affirmative action and have been silent on the issue of the Confederate flag flying over the state capitol of South Carolina," Gore said recently in New Hampshire.

"It's a legitimate debate that will be decided by the people of South Carolina," said Forbes.