Texas board rejects Confederate group’s proposed license plate

Texas board rejects Confederate group’s proposed license plate
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Texas is rejecting a license plate design submitted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans over concerns it was too similar to a design being used by another group.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board voted Thursday in a 5-3 decision to reject the design, which featured a Confederate soldier carrying a Texas flag on the left side of the plate, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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In their ruling, the board accepted an argument from the Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund, which claimed that the design was too similar to an existing specialty license plate for their group. Their plate features an unfurled Texas flag on the left side of the plate but no soldier.

The coalition, which uses the plate to raise money and provide bicycles to Texans, worried the design would involve the group in controversy surrounding the use of Confederate imagery.

"The plates are very similar," BikeTexas.org executive director Robert Stallings told the board, according to The Dallas Morning News. "It could cause a lot of confusion."

Stallings told reporters the Sons of Confederate Veterans's design was a "spitting image" of the existing license plate.

John McAmmon, a member of the Confederate group, told The Dallas Morning News that his group was disappointed by the board's ruling but would likely try again with a new design.

"We'll probably resubmit using another Texas flag," McAmmon said. "There were several Texas flags used during the [Civil] War, and we can use one of those."

The long-running debate over Confederate memorials and imagery intensified last year, most notably when white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the town's plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.