Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Texas Considers Confederate Flag Car Plate

It's a symbol that represents a proud Southern heritage to some and a racist institution to others.

One thing is for sure: if you're looking to stir up controversy, you'd be hard pressed to find a more divisive symbol than the Confederate battle flag.

In this sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Civil War, it's especially volatile.

But that isn't stopping Texas from considering a specialty license plate honoring those in the state who fought in the Civil War. The proposed plate, pushed by the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans, would display the Stars and Bars on one side with "Sons of Conferate Veterans" along the bottom.

Not surprisingly, the NAACP is opposed to the idea. Southern secession, which could be equated with treason, was bad enough, says Hilary Shelton, with the NAACP in Washington, D.C.

"But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those that sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country," he said.

Of course, Texas wouldn't be the first state to display the Confederate flag on a license plate. Nine others already do so. Georgia and Mississippi both have the Stars and Bars on their state flags.

Kid Rock has famously courted controversy by using the Confederate flag as a backdrop at his concerts, saying it represents Southern rock 'n' roll. In March, the Detroit arm of the NAACP was the target of a boycott for honoring the singer despite the controversy.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.