Confederate Nostalgists Still Can't Get the Rebel Flag on Texas License Plates

SonsofConfederateVeteransLicensePlate.jpg
Nope.
Its been almost four years since the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, in hopes of making a bit more scratch, rolled out a line of customizable license plates. Drivers can now select from a large buffet of completely legal plate designs celebrating Dr Pepper, Jesus, the late Dale Earnhardt and restrictions on abortion rights. You can even adorn your bumper with a University of Oklahoma license plate, which is downright unnatural.

Conspicuously absent from the menu of offerings is the Confederate flag, which is by design. The DMV rebuffed an effort by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to introduce such a plate back in 2011 on the grounds that it might offend some members of the public.

The Confederates could not sit idly by while their honor was once again besmirched and so, true to form, they rebelled. They stayed in the union this time but filed a strongly worded federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit was based on the argument that license plates are a form of speech and that the DMV's action stifled the sons' ability to freely exercise that right. Apparently seeking to bolster its case, the group points out that, on the same day the rebel flag was rejected, the DMV approved a plate honoring the Buffalo Soldiers which "is offensive to Native Americans because the all-black cavalry helped fight [them] in the Indian Wars from 1867-1888" and that Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and other Southern states already offer Confederate license plates.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks is not impressed. Courthouse News brings us the scoop that he has sided with the state of Texas.

Sparks writes that the plates aren't and weren't intended to be a public forum, which means the government has a right to exclude license plate designs it deems offensive. A federal appeals court came to the same conclusion when it ruled case in which the Ku Klux Klan was excluded from Texas' Adopt-a-Highway program.

That's not to say that the SCV is wrong when it argues that the flag is a symbol of the group's mission, which is "to defend the Confederate soldier's good name, be the guardian of his history, perpetuate the principles that he defended, and see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations."

It's just that, well, some folks don't see things that way. "[T]o others it is a symbol of an unconstitutional rebellion aimed at keeping African-Americans in a state of slavery by destroying the Union with the 'states' right' at issue being the right to own slaves," he writes. The Confederate flag has the added baggage of having been adopted by racists and white supremacists.

So it seems the Sons of Confederate Veterans will just have to settle for rebel bumper stickers or else run the risk of not being publicly identified as an aggressively unapologetic Southerner.

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14 comments
acidmonkey
acidmonkey

Everything is offensive to somebody somewhere, so what . I'ts called life ya'll, get over it. I fly my rebel flag wherever I go, because I can.

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen

Those who are still bonded to the Confederacy should be pretty proud that Reagan's race baited Confederate "Berlin" Wall is moving North under code name R.T.W. also known as Slavery-w/a-Night-Pass. Continuing the war on independence appears to make those followers less wealthy and far more dependent on plantation aristocrats for sustenance. Well well ... careful what your wish for. Going to war to preserve wage competition with slaves didn't make much sense either. Sam Houston didn't join the Confederacy though, did he? At least he was smarter than that. I'd like to think we're all capable of aspiring to some helpful learning.

Americano
Americano

How about a Dashiki license plate?

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

Where's Daniel Carver when you need him?

Joe Downey
Joe Downey

Why not have a KKK Plate as well with a Burning Cross or a Lynching

Harvey Lacey
Harvey Lacey

If we want to know the truth about the confederacy (non-capitalized on purpose) we should look at those who wrote the Texas Ordinance of Seccession. They explained why they believed in the stars and bars. """We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States. By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South."""

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

well thats bullshit, I was looking forward to getting my rebel battle flag license plate.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

I want a Dirty Dead Dale Earnhardt plate instead.

realdeal
realdeal

@Harvey Lacey  This is a very important point.  The role of basic racism in the formation of the country of Texas and the Confederate secession of the state of Texas is very rarely brought up...let alone discussed and analyzed.  So too many Texans think this states' national and Civil War history is one of the pursuit of  righteousness and freedom as opposed to racism and greed.

Ignorance is bliss until it becomes repeated history because when it repeats, it becomes whole new monster.

Americano
Americano

@Luis Garcia-Vega  

Of course Luis.  Just not the evil Confederacy.

wolfman123
wolfman123

No, I'll keep my money rather than let U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks choose my free speech for me.


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