Friday, November 11, 2011

Rebel Flag Plate Denied

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) rejected for the second time in 2011 a license plate design proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Governor Perry's opposition to the plate might have swayed the vote from the 4-4 deadlock in April to the 8-0 vote. 

The design was seen as offensive by African American groups and others who said that the flag was a symbol of slavery and racism. Nelson Linder, president of the Austin NAACP told the board that the flag ".. is full of death, destruction, fear and chaos and has no place in any civilized state or nation."  Granvel Block, Texas division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said "The board took the easy way out and collapsed under the pressure of unjustified emotions " that have "nothing to do with our logo." 

As a State agency the DMV certainly should respond to its citizens.  Many of whom voiced their criticism of the proposed license plate.

Fort Pillow Massacre
Civil War historians know that the behavior of Confederate soldiers towards US Colored Troops was not always in keeping with the prevailing standards of war.  Atrocities were committed by Confederate soldiers on numerous battlefields where African American soldiers fought. Fort Pillow and the Battle of the Crater are well-known examples.  So it seems reasonable that African Americans might get a little upset by honoring the battle flag under which some of these crimes were committed.

However, as we celebrate Veterans Day, it is well to remember and honor those who fought to defend and preserve the United States of America.   Today we should honor those who fought to preserve the Union and not those who fought to dismantle it. 

Representative Al Green of Houston led the crowd in the DMV hearing room in the Pledge of Allegiance.   His words following the Pledge ring true.

"This is the flag that bonds us together.  This is the flag that makes America for all Americans." 

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