Confederate battle flag license plate sales rise again
- Phil W. Hudson
- Staff Writer- Atlanta Business Chronicle
A newly designed plate by the Sons of Confederate Veterans became available in February after a national media frenzy over a new design that featured the “Southern Cross,” or the cross of St. Andrew, across the entire length of the plate.
“Some members of the media, as well as leaders of groups who oppose Southern heritage, attempted to dismiss the specialty plate back in February saying that it would not attain much success among Georgia drivers, especially considering the increased tag fees for specialty plates added by the state of Georgia in recent years,” the Sons of Confederate Veterans said in a statement.
The SCV said sales of its plate in February were up 175 percent over January, and March sales were double those in January. At the current rate, it is likely that more than 5,000 of the plates will be traveling on Georgia roads by the end of the year, SCV claims.
According to the SCV, the increased interest in the plate has even led to confrontations with county tag office employees in several counties around the state who temporarily refused to allow the purchase of the plate by individuals requesting it. The SCV says the tag honors the memory of their ancestors. Some civil rights groups, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, call it an offensive reminder of slavery and oppression. The flag has been appropriated by the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups, making it offensive to many.
“Some tag office employees were reportedly telling those who requested it that they must be members of the organization in order to have the plate, which is not the case in Georgia,” the organization said in a statement. “Other tag office employees in at least one county told motorists that a ‘final’ decision on allowing the plate had not yet been made so they could not offer it.”
Georgia is one of nine states with SCV approved plates. The others are Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.