Transportation

Houston Lawmaker Disappointed With Ruling On Confederate Flag License Plate

Ruling says Texas DMV improperly denied a request for the plates.

State Senator Rodney Ellis says he’s disappointed the state has been ordered to issue plates with a symbol that’s used by the Ku Klux Klan and other segregationist groups. Ellis is responding to a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the Texas Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The group sued after the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles denied their request for specialty plates with the Confederate flag.

Supporters say they want to sell the plates to raise funds for preserving Texas civil war monuments.

The DMV refused to issue the plates on the grounds that many people consider the flag offensive. But Sons of Confederate Veterans attorney John McConnell disagrees. He calls it a free speech issue.

Further, McConnell says the group isn’t prejudiced, and simply wants to honor people who died in the Civil War.

“These soldiers were young men who were enlisted into a cause. The vast majority of them did not own slaves, and they were just young people who died in this horrible war.”

But Ellis says the Confederate battle flag glorifies oppression and bigotry, and he’s asking Attorney General Greg Abbott to appeal the Fifth Circuit’s ruling.

Abbott could ask for a rehearing before the appellate court. If that’s denied, he could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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