• Feb 19th 2014 at 12:18PM
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A spokesman said the plate meant no offense and that pe... A spokesman said the plate meant no offense and that people have a right to commemorate heritage (AP/Georgia Department of Revenue).
Georgia officials have once again approved a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a debate among those who believe the symbol honors Confederate heritage and those who see it as racially charged.

The Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested the new plate design, and the Georgia Department of Revenue recently approved it. The group's old plate had a small Confederate battle flag. The new one features an additional, larger image in the background that covers the entire plate.

Spokesman Ray McBerry said the group meant no offense and views the plates as a way for people to honor their heritage.

"We believe that everyone has the right to preserve their heritage," he said. "Southerners have as much right to be proud of their heritage as anybody else."

Southern Christian Leadership Conference spokesman Maynard Eaton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state shouldn't have sanctioned the move.

"To display this is reprehensible," Eaton said. "We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.'"
Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he was unaware of the plate.

"I hadn't heard that, so I don't know anything about it," Deal said. "I'll have to talk to them about it. I had no information in advance about it."

States that joined the Confederacy have taken different positions on the battle flag.

North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi have specialty license tags that include it, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Texas rejected an application to issue one on the grounds that it could offend some. The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued board members of the Texas motor vehicle agency, and the case remains in court.

In Georgia, the Department of Revenue's motor vehicle division approves proposed designs for specialty plates. Agency spokesman Nick Genesi said the old design included the Confederate battle emblem and that organizations with existing plates were allowed to submit new designs since the state switched to a new type of flat, digitally-printed plate.

Genesi said any submitted designs must not violate copyright laws.

The plates are available for an initial cost of $80, of which $10 is directed to the Sons of ConfederateVeterans.

The group on its website says the funds will be used to promote Southern heritage through educational activities and preservation efforts around the state.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every person in thwew here United States, lost that war. Yeah, the North might have won, but we lost too many of our own people to say any side "won". It was the highest killings in any war we ever fought. Brother against brother, sons against fathers...it goes on and on. They all fought with pride for their side, and they died, all of them, with honor. There is no harm to have pride in your heritage. It is in your blood. If that flag on a plate in Gorgia reminds us of men we shouldn't ever forget, then by all means put that damn thing on your car, and show it with pride. And if you don't like it...let me quote a few words from the song "Dixie"..."look away..look away." .
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should come out with a plate good in all states reading U.S.A the land we stole from the Indians.
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL.. wake up people. You've just never been exposed to real, southern White Trash. They LOVE this stuff.
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are those who want to change history.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leave it to Georgia, Look away dixieland, Stuck in the past!
      • 1 Year Ago
      What about our "liberties"?
      • 1 Year Ago
      OH MY!
      Patti Griner
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see nothing wrong with this plate. Why did nobody get so bent out of shape when the Dukes of Hazaed was on and the General Lee sported a rebel flag painted on the roof? In Ohio you see the rebel flag displayed quite often. It is part of the southern heritage, and I see no reason why it should not be allowed on plates. The war has been over for 150 years. Get over it and accept the flag is part of the south, and should be allowed to be displayed however they choose!
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's part of the history of America. And the last I checked the war is over. Get over it and get a life.
      • 1 Year Ago
      so I guess It would be OK for Germany to issue plates with a swastika on it.
      super dad
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't like the plate? Don't get one.
      • 1 Year Ago
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