Georgia has again approved a specialty license plate that feature the Confederate flag and honor “Sons of Confederate Veterans,” according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
The new plates upset civil rights activists in the state and even surprised Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R).
“I hadn’t heard that so I don’t know anything about it. I’ll have to talk to them about it. I had no information in advance about it,” he told the Journal-Constitution.
The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans designed the plates, which were then approved by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The group’s spokesman, Ray McBerry, said that the they didn’t mean to offend anyone and that the state shouldn’t discriminate against people looking to honor their heritage.
“By sanctioning the plate, they are not saying they agree with our organization. They’re just saying it’s a level playing field,” he told the Journal-Consitution.
That reasoning did not satisfy civil rights activists, however.
“To display this is reprehensible,” said Maynard Eaton, spokesman for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “We don’t have license plates saying ‘Black Power.'”
The new specialty plate replaces one that already features the Confederate flag. The state Department of Revenue said it already had 35 orders for the new license plate.