Group of Houston leaders oppose proposed Confederate Texas license plate

by Tiffany Craig
KHOU 11 News

October 23, 2011

HOUSTON — A group of leaders from Houston is taking a stand against a proposed Confederate flag license plate for Texas.

“The Confederate flag is a symbol of oppression,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “The brutality of slavery and it is a symbol of fear and intimidation.”

The specialty plate is sponsored by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“They make it sound as if there’s some brazen banner on the plate,” said member Frank Johnson. “It’s a three by three logo. It’s not the battle flag! It’s the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo.”

The Department of Motor Vehicles’ board tied during their first vote on the plates in April. The next vote is scheduled for November.

With that vote just a few weeks away, the opposition is making its voice heard.

“Some of my ancestors fought for the Confederacy,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston).  “They don’t know me and I don’t know them but I’m glad they lost. They were on the wrong side of history and that’s what this is about today.”

A group of Houston leaders plan to go to Austin on November 10 when the DMV votes. They will bring a letter signed by more than a dozen legislators opposed to the design.

The plate has already been approved in nine states, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans have faced opposition before.

In those cases, they sued and won. Members vow to do it again in Texas.

“The Sons of Confederate Veterans have always won these suits in other states,” said Johnson. “There’s nothing to contest. If we don’t get the plate, why should anyone else get the plate?”

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