DMV to Revisit Confederate Plates

October 21, 2011
by: Crystal Chavez

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board is once again considering whether to approve specialty license plates displaying the Confederate battle flag.

Nineteen state representatives have sent a letter to the DMV expressing their opposition. Democratic Rep. Lon Burnam says he’s deeply troubled by the proposal.

“It couldn’t be clearer to most people of color that the Confederate flag symbolism is reprehensible and is a reminder of a period in history that, while we need to remember, we don’t need to glorify it, and for the state of Texas to lend any credibility to this symbolism is totally inappropriate,” Burnam told KUT News.

Burnam said that if the plates are approved he will consider litigation to try to stop them from showing up on Texas vehicles.

The Texas division of Sons of Confederate Veterans has been pushing for the plates for about two years.

Ray James, the past division commander, told KUT News that for their group, these plates are about not racism or hate but honoring the state’s heritage.

“We’ve used this flag for honorable purposes since 1896 to recognize and honor the veterans, and it’s our logo, and we believe we have the right to have our logo on that license plate to honor those veterans,” James said.

If the plates are approved, the group will get some of the proceeds. James says it would use the money to preserve documents and for commemorations such as grave markers.

Some other states have already approved Sons of Confederate Veterans plates. Others are in the process.

The DMV is scheduled to reconsider the Texas plates next month at the earliest. An April vote ended in a 4-4 tie, because the board’s ninth member was not present.

©2011 KUT

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