North Carolina Ends Confederate Flag Specialty License Plates

Officials in North Carolina announced on Monday (February 1) that the state will no longer be issuing specialty license plates that have the confederate flag one them. 

The move comes after authorities in the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles received numerous complaints about the tags following the global protests of the death of George Floyd last May, which sparked many institutions to reconsider the symbols they allow as the nation reckons with a history of racism.  

“The Division of Motor Vehicles has determined that license plates bearing the [c]onfederate battle flag have the potential to offend those who view them,” the agency said in a statement, first obtained by The Associated Press

“We have therefore concluded that display of the [c]onfederate battle flag is inappropriate for display on specialty license plates, which remain property of the state.” 

Mississippi voted to change its state flag last year after decades of having the confederate emblem displayed in the middle. 

The new policy took effect the first of the year and will mostly affect members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans which is described as a nonprofit charitable organization for direct descendents of confederate soldiers. The group was founded in 1896 and up until January 1, 2021, were allowed to have the specialty plate. 

Members of the North Carolina chapter of the organization feel the change is against the law. 

“The DMV doesn’t get to choose what logo we use,” Frank Powell, spokesman of the North Carolina chapter told WRAL

In 1998, a court case between the group and the state DMV required the agency to recognize the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a civic organization, which qualifies it for a specialty plate. 

This latest policy change, the DMV says, is still in alignment with the original ruling since the agency said it would continue to recognize the group as a civic organization that is entitled to a speciality plate, and remains open to a new design for the group. 

Until the group and the agency can agree, the DMV said it will “either issue SCV members standard plates and refund any speciality-plate fees paid or provide them with different specialty plates.” 

Photo: Getty Images 

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