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NAACP: Texas Confederate plates offensive

Oct. 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles' governing board could vote next month on a politically charged license plate design featuring the Confederate flag.

Opponents of the plate presented a petition containing 22,000 signatures to the board Wednesday, saying the design is offensive, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

"This particular flag never flew over Texas; it has been adopted by hate groups to intimidate or do wrong against people," Gary Bledsoe, president of the state NAACP conference, said. "It is every bit as offensive as the swastika. It creates psychological harm, creates fear and intimidation, and is likely to lead to breaches of the peace. It is a fighting flag."

A DMV board vote in April on the license plates -- proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans -- resulted in a 4-4 tie.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a member of the veterans group, pointed out it's likely the board will approve plates honoring Buffalo Soldiers, black U.S. soldiers sometimes used in battles against Native Americans.

"In the spirit of political correctness, why is it OK to honor soldiers who were sent to war against (American Indians) and not Confederate soldiers who were fighting for their country?" Patterson said.

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