Group puts Confederate flag on Georgia specialty tag
February 19, 2014 10:15 AM | 1363 views | 4 4 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this undated image released by the Georgia Department of Revenue, a new Georgia car tag is shown. Georgia officials are releasing a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a fiery debate. The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested that the state issue the new plates. A spokesman says it meant no offense and that people have a right to commemorate their heritage.(AP Photo/Georgia Department of Revenue)
In this undated image released by the Georgia Department of Revenue, a new Georgia car tag is shown. Georgia officials are releasing a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a fiery debate. The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested that the state issue the new plates. A spokesman says it meant no offense and that people have a right to commemorate their heritage.(AP Photo/Georgia Department of Revenue)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia officials have once again approved a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a debate among those who believe the symbol honors Confederate heritage and those who see it as racially charged.

The Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested the new plate design, and the Georgia Department of Revenue recently approved it. The group's old plate had a small Confederate battle flag. The new one features an additional, larger image in the background that covers the entire plate.

Spokesman Ray McBerry said the group meant no offense and views the plates as a way for people to honor their heritage.

"We believe that everyone has the right to preserve their heritage," he said. "Southerners have as much right to be proud of their heritage as anybody else."

Southern Christian Leadership Conference spokesman Maynard Eaton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state shouldn't have sanctioned the move.

"To display this is reprehensible," Eaton said. "We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.'"

Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he was unaware of the plate.

"I hadn't heard that, so I don't know anything about it," Deal said. "I'll have to talk to them about it. I had no information in advance about it."

States that joined the Confederacy have taken different positions on the battle flag.

North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi have specialty license tags that include it, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Texas rejected an application to issue one on the grounds that it could offend some. The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued board members of the Texas motor vehicle agency, and the case remains in court.

In Georgia, the Department of Revenue's motor vehicle division approves proposed designs for specialty plates. Agency spokesman Nick Genesi said the old design included the Confederate battle emblem and that organizations with existing plates were allowed to submit new designs since the state switched to a new type of flat, digitally-printed plate.

Genesi said any submitted designs must not violate copyright laws.

The plates are available for an initial cost of $80, of which $10 is directed to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The group on its website says the funds will be used to promote Southern heritage through educational activities and preservation efforts around the state.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
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Calvin Johnson
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February 20, 2014
I am so proud of the State of Georgia, Sons of Confederate Veterans and proud to have been born in the South.

This Georgia tag represents the Heritage of the Proud Southern people and I look forward to getting one for my car. God bless Dixie!
Lib in Cobb
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February 20, 2014
To some the flag of the confederacy represents their personal history, I understand that. To many that same flag represents hatred, oppression, bigotry, enslavement, a very dark time in our history, a war that pitted brother against brother, a nation being torn apart, rape, flogging, murder, families being separated.

I see the confederate flag to be offensive, as offensive as the swastika.

confederate was not capitalized intentionally.
A Cobb Citizen
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February 20, 2014
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES . . .

In opposition to a Confederate license plate Southern Christian Leadership Council's Mr Eaton said that "We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.' "

Of course they do have the Black Power radical Rev. Farakan and his group, who claims that all White people are Devils and White men only want to 'lay with' a Black woman and pollute their race, and also they have people like Jessie Jackson and rabble rouser Al Sharpton.

So I don't think they have much standing to criticize a simple license plate until they clean up their own idiots.
Bluto1
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February 19, 2014
I think any actual direct Son of a Confederate veteran should be entitled to display this plate -- and no one else.
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