Posted: 4:00 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
By Greg Bluestein
About a dozen years after its removal as the centerpiece of the Georgia state flag, the Confederate battle emblem is back — in a big, though slightly faded way.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans have had custom license plates before, featuring the square symbol of its organization, as seen below. But here’s the newest version, with the St. Andrews flag spanning the plate, that just won state Department of Revenue approval on Feb 1: Gov. Nathan Deal was questioned about the new license plate this afternoon, but indicated that it was a surprise to him.
“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,” said Deal, who last month vowed to a Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation that he would give Martin Luther King Jr. a more prominent place on state Capitol grounds.
From the press release:
The new design of the SCV’s special license plate features a much more prominent logo of the organization with larger stars and a beautiful Confederate battle flag image in the background and covering the entire size of the plate. Additionally, the plate features a gold frame with the words “Sons of Confederate Veterans” displayed where the county name was previously featured on the plates.
However, this wasn’t the first choice of the group:
The design for the new plate previously submitted by the SCV also featured the carving on Stone Mountain, the largest Confederate monument in existence; however, Silver Dollar City which has leased the Park from the state of Georgia claims to have the carving trademarked and refuses to allow other entities to use it. At present, the Sons of Confederate Veterans has challenged the right of any private corporation to trademark a symbol which belongs to the people and state of Georgia and is considering further action to void the trademark claim of Silver Dollar City; but the new alternate license plate design was submitted by the SCV so as not to delay its production.
Ten dollars from each plate ordered will go to the Georgia chapter of the SCV, “to promote Southern Heritage through educational activities and preservation efforts around the state.”
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He joined the newspaper in June 2012 after spending seven years with the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press. He also contributes to the AJC's Political Insider blog. Bluestein has traveled to Haiti with President Jimmy Carter, journeyed to Panama with Gov. Nathan Deal and tracked down a suspected Ponzi schemer in suburban Kansas. He spent weeks in Louisiana covering the Gulf Oil Spill, became an unwitting expert on capital punishment after witnessing almost a dozen executions in Georgia's death chamber and was part of award-winning teams that descended upon the biggest breaking news events in the Southeast. Bluestein has covered a range of beats, including environment, legal affairs and economic development. He's now the AJC's political writer, charged with covering the intricacies of Georgia's lively government on the newspaper's front pages and in the Political Insider blog. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.