North Carolina no longer allows the specialty license plates that show the Confederate flag.
The State cited its reasoning against the symbol as the “potential to offend.”
North Carolina DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said at the beginning of 2021, the State’s Division of Motor vehicles would no longer issue or renew the plates “bearing the Confederate battle flag or any variation of that flag.”
“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,” the statement read. “We have therefore concluded that display of the Confederate battle flag is inappropriate for display on specialty license plates, which remain property of the state.”
Everyone is not happy with the decision, including the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group released a statement accusing the State of “discrimination” and said it broke the law, CNN reports.
“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,” the group said.
“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 that would rather condone violence and destruction against anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to their way of thinking.”
A statement released by the DOT referenced the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans v. Faulkner case, saying the decision to no longer offer the plates is consistent with the ruling from the case. Still, the DMV will continue to see the group as a “civic organization entitled to the issuance of a specialty plate,” the statement said.
“However, SCV’s classification as a civic organization does not entitle it to dictate the contents of the government speech on that specialty plate,” the DOT said in the statement. “Efforts were made, and will continue to be made, to work with the SCV to develop artwork for these specialty plates that does not contain the Confederate battle flag. Since these efforts have proven unsuccessful so far, the DMV determined the agency would no longer issue or renew these specialty plates.”
The Confederate flag has been a controversial topic for years, and many feel it’s a symbol of white supremacy, including North Carolina, which has reconsidered its association with it.