Confederate battlefield license plate creates controversy in Georgia

License plate example courtesy Georgia Dept of Revenue

The stateof Georgia is releasing a specialty license plate featuring the Confederatebattle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a fiery debateabout what should appear on items that are state issued.

The newplate has fueled a disagreement between those who believe the battle flaghonors Confederate heritage and those that view it as a racially charged symbolof oppression.

SouthernChristian Leadership Conference spokesman Maynard Eaton told theAtlanta-Journal Constitution that the state should not have sanctioned the moveand calls displaying the battle emblem "reprehensible."

TheGeorgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested that the stateissue the new plates. A spokesman says it meant no offense and that people havea right to commemorate their heritage.

Georgia Governor Nathan Dealsays he was unaware of the plans for the new license plate.

Alabama is one of three states that issue a specialty plate featuring the flag.