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Texas DMV scraps proposed Confederate license plate design in unanimous vote

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/SonsofConfederateVeteransplate_360.jpgThe Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board’s much-anticipated vote on a custom license plate featuring the Confederate flag wasn’t quite the nail-biter it had been billed as.

Though the board split evenly a 4-4 in a previous vote on the measure, a protracted petition drive and efforts by some state lawmakers — along with Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion that the plate shouldn’t be approved — evidently swayed the board hard ahead of its unanimous rejection of the license plate design Thursday.

As the Austin American-Statesman reported:

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.”

Granvel Block, who leads the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, told the Statesman a lawsuit over the decision was likely, as they’d hope to overturn the board’s ruling in the courts, as has happened in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

But Progress Texas director Matt Glazer, whose group has made the Confederate plates a signature issue, said Texas could prove to be a special case.

“The DMV chair made it a point to say there’s a provision for the Texas DMV that says they’re allowed to rule against any plate that they deem offensive,” Glazer said, a distinction he guessed could get in the way of free speech arguments the Sons of Confederate Veterans might raise. “I’m still not entirely convinced it’s over, but I’ll take it,” he said.”

“We felt confident going into the meeting that the DMV was going to reject the Confederate plates, but to see it got from a stalemate to a 8-0 vote in our favor was very striking,” Glazer said, crediting all those who signed petitions with turning the tide. “It’s a victory for the people who were involved in the process.”

A Christian-themed license plate dubbed the “Calvary Hill” design, featuring three crosses on a hill and the words, “One State Under God,” was removed from the board’s agenda today at the request of MyPlates.com — the state’s custom license plate contractor — a DMV spokeswoman said. That plate could be before the board at its next meeting Dec. 9.

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