The Georgia Department of Revenue approved for the second time a new specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, sparking outcry from those who view the flag as racially insensitive, according to CBS news.
The state’s Sons of Confederate Veterans requested a new plate, apparently, featuring a small Confederate battle flag to one side, as well as a larger image in the background covering the entire plate. It is an upgrade from the old plate they had, which only had the small flag on it. “Sons of Confederate Veterans” will be embossed in the gold frame where county names usually appear.
A spokesman for the group, Ray McBerry, said the plates did not mean to cause offense, and that they were simply a means for people to honor their Southern 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.”
However, activists are coming down hard. Southern Christian Leadership Conference spokesperson Maynard Eaton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the state should have rejected the plates, CBS notes. “To display this is reprehensible,” Eaton said. “We don’t have license plates saying ‘Black Power.’ “
The Georgia plates are available for $80, and of that, $10 goes to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi reportedly also have specialty license plates featuring the flag, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Read more at CBS News.