After being used by a Northern Virginia regiment during the war, it was adopted by hate groups that used it to terrorize blacks throughout the South after the war. The flag was also used in the 1950′s and 1960′s as a means of sending a signal to the African-American community that the governments of the South were not in favor of the civil rights movement.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP offers a haunting analogy:
What is next? If this government-issued license plate is approved, the board should also stand ready to approve a license plate with a swastika on it. Revisionism that tries to paint the Confederacy as a symbol of states’ rights could in the same breath repaint the Nazi regime (because after all, didn’t Hitler bring Germany out of a recession?). Both symbols are inextricably linked to horrible human atrocities, and should not be dignified by the state of Texas through a prominent feature on a state-issued license plate.
Whether individuals have a right to display the flag is an entirely separate issue from whether the government should do so on state-issued property. It is important that Texas not go the way of other states like Virginia and Florida that have lost battles trying to keep this hate-filled insignia off of their license plates.
Please send your faxes or emails to both the Commission and the State NAACP Office so they can keep tabs of the numbers who have weighed in. Recent reports indicate that there were originally 127 people who wrote in favor of the proposed new plates and 9 people who opposed.
The numbers and names for the Department of Motor Vehicles is Julie Beisert (Julie.email@example.com), the liaison for the Board. Main number is 888-368-4689. Fax a copy of your letter to the Texas State NAACP at 512-322-0757.