Honk for Confederate Pride


From: February 25, 2008:
The Buzz:

Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, has filed legislation to create a new license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag.

But the controversial nature of the flag and failure to establish a plate before makes for a difficult road to approval.

The plate, featuring four Confederate-era flags as well as buttons worn by soldiers, was designed by the Florida division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group pitched the idea last year and got nowhere. The plate would cost $25 extra and proceeds would be used for education programs and graveyard restoration.

Florida, like other Southern states, has struggled over the image of the Confederate flag and the plate will surely stir controversy. In 2001, Gov. Jeb Bush discreetly removed the flag from the Capitol. His successor, Gov. Charlie Crist, has made inroads with the African-American community that sees the flag as an enduring symbol of racism.

"A lot of people are making a big issue out of it," Brown said. "But all we're doing is giving individuals the right to choose to make a statement about their heritage." That's no different, he said, than people who want to see Martin Luther King Jr's name grace street signs. Browns says he is one of them and has sponsored a bill to rename part of Highway 90 in Walton County after the slain civil rights leader.

A handful of other states have Confederate heritage plates, including Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina.



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