File Under Neo-Confederacy

Land commissioner endorses Confederate flag on license plates

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wants a Confederate battle flag license plate in Texas because it shows a "commitment to Texas history – even the history others might find offensive." In an op-ed published in the Quorum Report, Patterson compared the plate application from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to one from the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum commemorating African-American troops of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment who served in the U.S. Army from the Indian Wars to World War I. Patterson wrote, "Both plates represent private organizations proud of their history." Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, called Patterson's argument "probably one of the best in defense of the Confederate battle flag," but called the comparison to the Buffalo Soldiers "a little weak." While he argued states should not be promoting images so offensive to many, Potok said the Texas plate was better than plans in Mississippi to commemorate Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest. As for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, he said most of its members are "history buffs, but the reality is that the organization has been the subject of an attempted takeover by extremists for some years now."

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Richard Whittaker, Oct. 21, 2011

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Jerry Patterson, Confederate, license plate

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