North Carolina Discontinues Licence Plates With Confederate Battle Flag
The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in North Carolina has discontinued licence plates with Confederate flags on them.
The Confederate flag was used in the American Civil War to represent the southern states, who wanted to maintain slavery. As a result, the flag can be an evocative image because to many people it represents the fight to keep racial inequality in the United States.
The DMV in North Carolina has now decided to stop issuing licence plates with the flag on it.
CNN noted a statement made by North Carolina Department of Transport spokesman Steve Abbott on the decision:
The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has determined that license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag have the potential to offend those who view them. We have therefore concluded that display of the Confederate battle flag is inappropriate for display on speciality license plates, which remain property of the state.
Despite the clear reasoning, some groups are unhappy that the flag will no longer be seen on licence plates. The plates are a speciality plate for the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, and they have hit back at the changes.
The group responded to the news by posting a counter-argument on Facebook:
The NC-DMV has claimed that our civic group’s legally registered logo may be offensive and is inappropriate for display. Make no mistake about this… We are a hereditary civic organization that takes great pride in our ancestry, our deep roots, our ethnic heritage, and our ancestor’s sacrifices to the Southern States including North Carolina.
Interestingly, the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans has taken the position that they are discriminated against. The comments go on to cite the Civil Rights movement as grounds for maintaining the licence plate. However, they do not appear to acknowledge what the Confederate flag would mean to historically marginalised people.
The post noted:
This blatant discrimination by our government is being driven from ignorance of our State’s true history by some and a deep hatred for native Southerners by others. We fear it is more of the latter, being driven by racist organizations and intolerant politicians.
Many will be glad that offensive flags will not be on licence plates. On the other hand, it is clear that some groups are worried that the removal of historically racist symbols will lead to discrimination.
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