The approval of an updated Georgia license plate featuring both a small and large Confederate flag is upsetting activists who say the symbol highlights racial issues associated with the Confederacy.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans in Georgia requested approval for the Confederate flag license plate and it was granted by the Georgia Department of Revenue, CBS News reported
. This new design, which features a small Confederate flag and also a larger background image of the flag, replaces an older version that had just the small image on it.
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North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi also have specialty plates that have the Confederate flag, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
. Texas rejected an application from the Sons of Confederate Veterans for such a plate, and the organization has sued over the issue.
“That's when we were lynched, taken away from our families. That's when our women were raped. Do you want to promote that? No," Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told the Clarion Ledger
A spokesperson for Georgia’s Sons of Confederate Veterans group said that a plate featuring the Confederate flag has been around for 15 years and that it commemorates the organization’s heritage and is not meant to be offensive.
“By sanctioning the plate, they are not saying they agree with our organization. They’re just saying it’s a level playing field,” Ray McBerry told the AJC.
Online views were sharply expressed over the issue.
“How shameful. To think Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies. We're still a racist, bigoted bunch — 281 years and running — and I'm sure our Revolutionary war heroes, the Constitution writers - are rolling in their graves,” one person wrote on the AJC article.
“Get over it,” wrote another person. “That tag thing is just another First Amendment form of expression."
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