The state Department of Motor Vehicles’ governing board this morning voted down a controversial proposal for a specialty license plate displaying the Confederate battle flag.
The vote was 8-0, with Vice Chair Cheryl Johnson absent.
The decision brought cheers and applause from the packed hearing room near the State Capitol. The decision came after nearly two hours of sometimes-emotional testimony, highlighted by U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance while holding up a large U.S. flag.
“There are always those who take the wrong side of history for the right side of politics,” he said. “”This is an opportunity to take the right side of history and the right side of politics.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, an ancestral history group, had sought the plate as a way to raise money for memorials and history projects.
Granvel Block, commander of the group’s Texas division, said a lawsuit was likely. Lawsuits in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland resulted in approval of the specialty plates, after initial turn-downs by a state agency.
“They listened to emotion rather than facts,” Block said, citing “inaccurate information that got off onto everything but our plates.”
I didn’t expect the vote to be unanimous, I’ll say that much. I’m glad they made the right decision, and I hope the state is successful in fending off the lawsuit that will follow. A statement from Rep. Garnet Coleman is here, and the AusChron has more.