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Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate stirs controversy

'Fighting flag' adopted as new design

Georgia Officials approved the Confederate Flag specialty license plate. (click for larger version)
February 25, 2014
NORTH FULTON — A new car license plate is stirring up old wounds, but Sons of Confederate Veterans say it's a just a celebration of their Southern heritage.

At the beginning of February, the state Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division approved the new license plate designed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and made it available to all Georgians.

The license plate, as described in a statement released by the group, features, "a beautiful Confederate battle flag image in the background," which covers the full expanse of the plate.

The design is a choice available to all Georgia motorists renewing or applying for a tag, and $10 of the tag's fee goes to the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The group's release regarding the plate design also states the money received from these fees will go towards cleaning and preserving monuments and statues and the production of educational literature and posters.

"All people should have the right to celebrate their history and heritage," said Ray McBerry, spokesman for the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, when asked about the criticism the plate received.

"We find it ironic— and hypocritical— that those who have publicly bemoaned our celebration of Southern Heritage are in fact celebrating their own history and heritage in the month of February,"McBerry continued. "The idea that someone would feel that they have a right to publicly celebrate their own history and heritage, but that others should not be allowed to is hypocritical at best."

Maynard Eaton, spokesperson for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference disagreed.

"To display this is reprehensible," Eaton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.'"

The Georgia state flag featured the Confederate battle flag from 1956 to 2001, but was changed due to mounting criticisms sparked when Atlanta hosted the Olympics of 1996.

"The Confederate battle flag is first and foremost a symbol of the Southern soldier who was forced into a war to prevent the invasion of his home," McBerry said. "The Sons of Confederate Veterans is not a racially exclusive organization; we have members who are white, black, Hispanic, and Jewish — a reflection of the population of the South at the time of the War."

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  1. report print email
    New Georgia License plate
    February 26, 2014 | 02:38 AM

    The U.S. Constitution states that all men are created equal.Some want to say that equal applies to everyone except Southern White Americans! God bless the great State of Ga.!

    Dan Boyette
    Seven Springs, NC
  2. report print email
    New Georgia License plate
    February 26, 2014 | 11:42 AM

    I agree with the statement "The U.S. Constitution states that all men are created equal.Some want to say that equal applies to everyone except Southern White Americans! God bless the great State of Ga.!"
    Equal should be equal for everyone!

    Walter Williams
    Good Hope
  3. report print email
    new ga liscense plate
    February 28, 2014 | 12:40 PM

    Ok heres the deal. All southerners or anyone as a matter of fact. Should be allowed to celebrate there heritage. It is not right that other nationalities, religions, races, creeds, etc... are allowed to celebrate there heritage and southern white americans are considered prejudice just because they want to celebrate their heritage. But it seems like since white americans are the bad guys in the south we shouldnt be allowed to celebrate our southern heritage. When the simple fact of the matter is, that is not a prejudice thing. It simply our heritage that we were born in the south. Thats our heritage, besides why wouldn't decendants of the freed slave's want to celebrate the same heritage because they were freed from s Their ancestors were freed and thats something to celebrate also. Do i agree with people being enslaved? NO I do not agree with it no matter what the race was or is. What people need to do is get off the racial bus, and try to come together as a nation. If all men (and women)are created equal according to the word of God, which is what this country was founded on. If everyone agrees with this then why cant people celebrate there heritage without controversy.
    So are people who oppose the tag or celebration of our sothern heritage saying there better than others? Why don't you ask yourself this question.

    nathanael s. hibberts
    calhoun ga
  4. report print email
    March 02, 2014 | 09:56 AM

    Ok, let's have all the KKK members be allowed to have their insigna on their plates, all the neo-Natzis to have their insigna, the gangs can have their insignas, too.....

  5. report print email
    New GA L. Plate
    March 02, 2014 | 10:43 AM

    Frankly, the plate itself do not bother me. There are bigger issues to handle. As African Americans, I'm anti-hatred against injustices towards my race. I've heard/witnessed first hand. However, we aren't so quick to start a riot, an uproar when we do it to ourselves almost everyday.

    BlackMan in NFulton
  6. report print email
    A Dubious Heritage...
    March 06, 2014 | 12:14 PM

    The plate celebrates all that is wrong with this state and America. [And to those for whom it matters: I am a white male and native of the Alpharetta (Johns Creek) area (something few in this area can say) and a direct descendant of a veteran of Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry brigade in the Trans-Mississippi, North Georgia theater of operations. And I wouldn't become a member of the SCV for the same reasons I wouldn't join the KKK: They are a racists, retrograde, and ultimately un-American organization.]

    Johns Creek
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