Should McCrory Remove The Confederate Flag From NC License Plates?
The Confederate Flag may not be flying over North Carolina’s courthouses, but it can still be seen on vanity license plates throughout the state. The decision to post the flag on a government-issued plate is a personal one, and yet in a Supreme Court decision last week it was affirmed that license plates are government speech.
Recently, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that his state would begin the process of removing Confederate flags from license plates. Drivers will receive replacement plates, and will be asked to turn over their old ones. It’s not a surprising turn of events, given the flag’s association with the tragic events in Charleston.
“Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people. Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.” – Gov. McAuliffe
However, many southerners throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and other states declare that the flag still represents them, and that they should be allowed to display it wherever they see fit. In North Carolina, that means that the Confederate flag remains an option for vanity plates. Should McCrory follow the precedent set by Virginia, South Carolina, and Texas?
The issue gets thorny when discussing public property, like government buildings, state parks, and courthouses. Mississippi famously still raises it every day, as the Confederate battle flag once trumpeted by Robert E. Lee’s regiment remains a prominent part of the design.
Mississippi citizens in favor of the flag allege that the Confederacy was part of their history, and should not be forgotten. Opponents declare that it should be retired under the basis that it does not represent them, and invokes racial superiority and slavery. The argument has been going on a long time, but one question remains.
If a flag only represents a portion of the population, is it truly representative at all? North Carolinians, tell us what stance would you like McCrory to take on this issue in the comments section below.