In a 5-4 ruling on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas’ refusal to issue a license plate with the Confederate flag, the Associated Press reports.
Justice Clarence Thomas joined the more liberal justices to form a majority. They overturned an appeals court ruling that barring the plates was a violation of free speech rights.
The high court sided with Texas officials who argued that license plates are not like bumper stickers. Unlike a bumper sticker, a license plate is government property and therefore represents government speech—not individual speech.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans filed the lawsuit when Texas refused to issue a license plate bearing its battle-flag logo. Officials believe the Confederate flag would be offensive to many other Texans.
Read more at the Associated Press.