Sons of Confederate Veterans
July 23, 2014
GEORGIA SCV LICENSE PLATE SUCCESS LEADS TO TEXAS PLATE
(Atlanta – July 23, 2014) The 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled this past week that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles must approve a specialty plate for the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans. The huge success that has resulted from sale of the SCV specialty plate in Georgia for more than a decade, among other things, led the Texas SCV to apply for their own plate; but when the Texas DMV denied the request on the grounds that the image of the Confederate battle flag was offensive to some, the Texas SCV decided to take on the state in the courts.
Like the new Georgia SCV license plate which received national news attention in February this year, the current design proposed for the Texas SCV plate prominently features the SCV logo with the Confederate battle flag, plus the name "Sons of Confederate Veterans" across the bottom of the plate, and a faint image of the battle flag across the entire background of the plate.
Just a few short months ago, in April of 2014, the case was finally decided by US District Court Judge Sam Sparks who ruled that the state had the authority to deny the plate and rejected the SCV’s arguments that it was discrimination. Last week, however, the US Court of Appeals overthrew the decision by Judge Sparks and ruled in favour of the SCV, citing in its opinion that the Texas DMV "engaged in impermissible viewpoint discrimination." The majority opinion in the decision went on to add, "By rejecting the plate because it was offensive, the board discriminated against Texas SCV’s view that the Confederate flag is a symbol of sacrifice, independence, and Southern heritage."
There are currently nine states of the old Confederacy which now have SCV specialty plates featuring the Confederate battle flag; and although several of them have had to challenge their respective state DMV’s to get the plates approved, the courts have ultimately upheld the right to the SCV plates in every state. The report of success with the plates by the Georgia Division at the recent SCV National Reunion in Charleston, South Carolina has renewed interest among the other Southern states to push for their own specialty plates.
In Georgia, anyone can request an SCV specialty plate, not just members of the SCV. The result has been a growing number of requests statewide, accounting for a 200 percent increase in sales just since February this year. Ten dollars from the sale of every plate goes to the organisation for the preservation of existing monuments, the erection of new ones, and for educational efforts which promote the history of the Confederate soldier.
For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans or any of this year’s planned events to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War, contact the SCV at 404.271.8473 or online at www.GeorgiaSCV.org