Confederate flag on tag stands for what part of Southern heritage?
by Don McKee
February 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 1322 views | 8 8 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
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The Confederate flag controversy is back again with the newly designed specialty auto tag for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

First, as news reports have pointed out, the SCV for years has had a specialty tag that included a small Confederate flag with no fuss about it. It apparently was low-key enough to escape serious opposition. But the new version is drawing fire from at least one group, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which labeled the tag design “reprehensible.”

The new version has a small replica of the flag in the SCV logo plus a faint background image of the flag stretching from one side of the plate to the other. And “Sons of Confederate Veterans” appears at the bottom instead of a county name.

The Department of Motor Vehicles changed the format of the license plate, SCV spokesman Ray McBerry said. “They asked us to present to them a new layout, a new design, for the plate for our organization as they’ve done with all of the other nonprofit organizations that have specialty plates in Georgia,” he said. The DMV then approved the new design.

“You choose to have the plate if you want it,” he told Fox News Radio. “It’s voluntary. No one’s going to have it forced upon them.” By approving the SCV plate, the state agency was “not saying they agree with our organization,” McBerry told a reporter. “They’re just saying it’s a level playing field.”

The problem is that some people are offended by the flag for two reasons: 1. the banner was used as a battle flag by Confederate forces and per se stands for slavery and racism and all that was wrong with the pre-Civil War South. 2. the battle flag was appropriated by the Ku Klux Klan after the war and by other violent racists during the civil rights movement and symbolized racial hatred and bigotry.

On the other side of the issue, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and who knows how many other Southerners look on the flag simply as part of their heritage. SCV’s McBerry said, “We believe that everyone has the right to preserve their heritage. Southerners have as much right to be proud of their heritage as anybody else.”

Yes — but that heritage includes slavery, oppression and discrimination against black people — as well as defense of the constitutional guarantee of state rights that played a prominent role in secession and the war. These are inextricably bound together. The seceding states believed that they, and not the federal government, had the right to determine what to do about slavery. The truth is the war was about both state rights and slavery. It’s also true that Confederate soldiers believed they were fighting for a just cause — defending their homeland against Northern aggression.

We can be proud of our Southern heritage of patriotism, graciousness, hospitality and many other things. The rest of our Southern heritage, including that flag, is gone with the wind.

dmckee9613@aol.com
Comments
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All for it
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February 22, 2014
You know Don...of course the symbolism is outrageous and purposefully hateful & so at first I too was against this tag...on the other hand, if the state devised a tag labeled "warning: driver of this car is dumber than he or she may appear"...well, let's just say these tags probably wouldn't sell well at all.

With the Johnny Reb "prestige" tag though, we can all now get a clear indicator as to who it is that are truly the dumbest amongst us...and they'll not only do so willingly, but apparently very very eagerly. Yee haw -- saddle up stupidos!
Guido Sarducci
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February 21, 2014
Lib, I did ot expect a trrasnplanted, brain-washed, south-hating, northern cast off like you to comprehend anything, Your mind is closed to anythng other than your petty prejudices.
Guido Sarducci
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February 21, 2014
The Confederate Flag is only offensive to those imbeciles who choose to ignore history along wiht the real reason for the civil war.

Rave on. The Stars and Bars will outlive your petty prejudice.
Lib in Cobb
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February 21, 2014
@Guido: It is far from petty prejudice. The issue is about what is right and just.

We know the real reasons for The Civil War, slavery was included in those reasons, but conveniently veiled as "states rights".

It was all ugly and disgusting, that flag should not be on public display, especially when using a public entity to produce it and deliver it. If you wish to fly it on your property that's your choice, then we will know all that we need to know about you.
Next a swastika
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February 21, 2014
So are you for or against this utterly racist state authorized and produced plate?
Battle Hymn
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February 21, 2014
I'm sick of hearing this "heritage" argument. The Civil War ended almost 150 years ago. The treasonous southern states wanted to preserve their "peculiar institution" that immorally permitted whites to amass fortunes on the backs of black slaves. There is nothing about that ugly past worth honoring.

The forces of righteousness crushed this abomination because war was the "remedy" the confederacy chose, to paraphrase Gen. Grant, who sent Sherman here to "make Georgia howl," which it did.

Germany would never permit license plates with swastikas to "commemorate" the "heritage" of the Nazis. Why do Georgia law makers think this offensive flag should be honored?
Lib in Cobb
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February 21, 2014
@Battle: Thank you.
Lib in Cob
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February 21, 2014
The confederate flag as mentioned in the column is a symbol of hatred, tyranny, enslavement and all the very ugly episodes which occurred during the period of before and after The Civil War.

I do understand what that flag represents to some. I don't believe that the history surrounding that flag should be ignored, but I also feel it should not be on public display.

The supporters of the flag have the absolute right to fly it as I have the absolute right to hate it for what it really represents.

The ugliness is far more powerful than the aspects of personal history.
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