Texas’ Confederate Flag License Plates Case Moves To The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will determine if Texas violated the First Amendment by denying license plates featuring the Confederate flag.

According to USA Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans were seeking to obtain the specialty plates that featured the controversial flag. The state of Texas refused to have the plates issued, and a federal judge found the decision to be constitutional. However, a 2-1 vote from an appeals court ruled in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Supreme Court will now hear the case in March. The case is being called Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 14-144.

The reason that the state denied the plates to be issued is because many find the flag to be offensive and a symbol of racism. But the Sons of Confederate Veterans view it as "a symbol of sacrifice, independence, and Southern heritage," and they believe the state's refusal to issue the plates was discriminatory to their beliefs.

This is not the first time a state has seen controversy arise from specialty plates that featured the flag. A previous report from the Inquisitr stated that Georgia's Sons of Confederate Veterans division was able to obtain license plates that featured the controversial flag. Spokesman Ray McBerry said that they didn't mean for the plates to offend anyone.

"We believe that everyone has the right to preserve their heritage. Southerners have as much right to be proud of their heritage as anybody else."
But Maynard Eaton, a spokesman for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, shared a different opinion of the plates.
"To display this is reprehensible. We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.'"
Other states that have approved having the Confederate flag on license plates include North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi.

According to the Associated Press, 350 specialty license plates are available to purchase in Texas. Some of these plates say "God Bless Texas," "Choose Life," and "Fight Terrorism." Others express support for the Boy Scouts of America and numerous advocacy groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving. There are also license plates for professional sports teams and colleges.

In its appeal to the Supreme Court, the state of Texas argued that its decision to refuse issuing the plates to the Sons of Confederate Veterans did not discriminate the group's viewpoint. The reason is because the state's motor vehicle board had not previously approved of license plates featuring the controversial flag or any other viewpoint of the Confederacy.

[Image via Victoria Advocate]