Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter, the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee and grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, suggested Monday that he would not stop the state from issuing license plates that included the Confederate flag if Carter was elected governor.
Carter made the comments during an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Monday. When asked, Carter at first Carter said that people have the right to put what they want on their cars.
“I think these issues that folks at the national level want to talk about a lot are the kinds of things that Georgia needs to put behind us. I mean do people have the right to put on their car what they want? Of course they have that right,” Carter said. “But what I would like to see is, when I’m governor, is the type of license plate that celebrates Georgia’s legacy —”
Carter and Todd talked past each other for a few moments before Todd finally said “it’s not a bumper sticker, we’re talking about a state issued license plate.”
“I don’t know the state can discriminate on the bases of what they said,” Carter said. “Again, I would like to see us focus on that great legacy that we have of Dr. King and Joseph Lowery and Andy Young and the future of our state which is undeniably a multiracial, multicultural, diverse, dynamic future. And that’s where I’m going to focus. To the extent that folks are making this an issue to divide people, I don’t support it.”
Todd then asked if Carter would block it if he were governor.
“I don’t know that we could block it, frankly,” Carter said. “But I think people, again, you’re not going to see very many of these license plates. It’s something for national folks to talk about. In Georgia, we’re moving on.”
In February, the state of Georgia approved a specialty license plate that featured a Confederate flag in the background. The flag was in honor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said he had no problem with the license plates.