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State Rejects Confederate License Plate

Proposed Sons of the Confederacy license plate.
Proposed Sons of the Confederacy license plate.

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – At an emotional hearing in Austin Thursday, the state's Motor Vehicle Board rejected a Confederate license plate option for vehicles. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports that does not mean the brakes will hold.

Nine other states offer Confederate license plates featuring the so-called "stars and bars." The Sons of Confederate Veterans proposed it in Texas as well. In testimony urging rejection of the option, Dallas Senator Royce West hinted the symbol has long been associated with racism.

West: Think about the implications and ramifications for this entire state and I ask you to consider what the flag symbolizes. On behalf of citizens in the state of Texas both African American, Latino, Anglo, Asian, I ask you to oppose this.

Granville Block, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the Confederate logo carries no shame and has been a legitimate symbol for more than a hundred years. He was disappointed by so-called hype used to help derail the license plate option.

Block: This is our federally approved trademark. It's a corporate logo. It's like the Hookem' Horns on the University of Texas offending the A&M guys. I'm sorry, but everybody needs to understand we all have different interests.

Block said despite the state's unanimous rejection of the Confederate license plate, this issue is not over. He expects Sons of Confederate Veterans will now sue Texas. He says that's what the group did in three states, and won each time.

Email Bill Zeeble