License plate would preserve history and is intended to honor soldiers, not promote any racist agenda.
Originally posted on August 29, 2006
The proposed new Florida Confederate Heritage Specialty plate is a great idea and one that is years overdue.
There are many positive aspects of this tag and for recipients of its revenue.
This new tag is being sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Florida Division.
The Sons of the Confederate Veterans is a historical and heritage-based group, whose ancestors were soldiers, sailors, and elected officials of the Confederacy.
From the years of 1861 to 1865, the state of Florida provided more military personnel per capita than any other Confederate state.
The Floridians who served were made up of whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Caribbeans and Europeans.
However, the state of Florida is the only Southern state without a specialty tag to honor the Confederacy.
For the sake of brevity, I will forgo a detailed history lesson, however I want to state that this tag will be an educational tool.
Out of the 100-plus tags in Florida, how many are dedicated to history, heritage and education? Not many.
The revenue from these tags would go toward student scholarships, monument repair, grave restoration, historical displays, school living histories, books to libraries, document restoration, and so on.
Several other SCV members and I recently aided the Fort Myers Black History Museum in making a display chronicling the "Black Confederate Soldiers Service."
Had we had more funds we could have helped even further and intend to in the future.
A few months ago we cleaned the Battle of Fort Myers historical marker downtown, out of our own pockets.
Several years ago we completely restored the Lee Monument downtown, again out of our own pockets.
We recently placed a Confederate Iron Cross on Marco Island for Capt W.T. Collier, at our expense.
With our plates on the streets the revenue would allow us to keep and maintain our American history — not only in Lee County — but across the entire state.
As a retired U.S. military veteran, I urge your readers to remember that these were American soldiers, and to honor their flag as a soldier’s flag.
To dispel any notion that this license plate is racist, I would have you know that my daughter is biracial. She has a historical link to the confederacy, just as I do, and if the plate becomes reality when she gets her first car, I will buy her a Confederate Heritage tag if she so chooses.
Just last week a poll was taken in Orlando about the tag. The response, with over 6,000 votes, was 78 percent in favor.
Everyone should understand that the proceeds from this plate will support public service initiatives that are a win-win for all Floridians.
If you care anything about American history I urge you to support the Confederate Heritage effort.
For more information about this project please visit our Web site heritageplate.org.