Tension builds up after a new license plate is proposed to The Director of Motor Vehicles. The new design bears the Confederate flag.
A petition containing 22,000 signatures urged The Motor Vehicles Board not to approve the vanity plate containing the Confederate battle flag.
Eric Strong, Director of Roots Historical Arts Council, said many people associate hatred and prejudice with the battle flag.
“Bearing that flag, and bearing those license plates, knowing that, choosing to make that stand, that’s your right, but know that people are going to be offended by it,” Strong said.
Those who oppose the vanity plate say the Confederate license plates encourage the institution of slavery. However, others have argued it’s a right, honoring the history and legacy of the South.
Texas Land cCommissioner, Jerry Patterson, is sponsoring the flag. He said it represents loyalty to legacy.
“You know, those who say we can’t do that, because somebody might be offended, well I’m just telling them to get a grip. It’s my constitutional right and their constitutional right to be offended. We have free discourse in this country,” Patterson said.
Patterson said we should promote and respect the history of all groups of people.
"So whatever the cause of the war, the Confederate soldiers, the Union soldiers, the Buffalo soldiers all deserve to be honored," Patterson said.
Mike Walker, member of the Sons of Confederate Soldiers, echoed Patterson’s position.
“I still respect and revere the men in my family who fought for the Confederacy, because they were fighting for what they believed in,” Walker said.
Walker supports the Confederate flag license plates and thinks it's wrong to deny people the right to honor their history.
“We are not being allowed to show pride in our ancestors and the heritage we receive from them,” Walker said.
The potential compromise is allowing a Confederate plate, and a plate depicting the Buffalo soldiers. The Buffalo soldiers were the first all-black regiment established by the congress who fought against the Native Americans in the 19th century. The motor Vehicles Board could vote on the plates next month, after one in April ended in a tie.