Sons of Confederate Veterans LOSE in High Court

Earlier today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the SCV, which sued the state of Texas for denying its petition for a specialty license plate that includes a Confederate battle flag. This comes on the same day that a twenty-one year old white South Carolinian man was arrested for allegedly murdering nine African Americans while worshiping last night in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Included in the court’s 5-4 ruling is the following passage:

In 2010, SCV renewed its application before the Board. The Board invited public comment on its website and at an open meeting. After considering the responses, including a number of letters sent by elected officials who opposed the proposal, the Board voted unanimously against issuing the plate. The Board explained that it had found “it necessary to deny th[e] plate design application, specifically the confederate flag portion of the design, because public comments ha[d] shown that many members of the general public find the design offensive, and because such comments are reasonable.” App. 64. The Board added “that a significant portion of the public associate the confederate flag with organizations advocating expressions of hate directed toward people or groups that is demeaning to those people or groups.” Id.,at 65.

A photograph of the alleged shooter shows him sitting on the hood of his car with a vanity license plate that includes three different Confederate flags with the words, “Confederate States of America” wrapped around.

roof-confederate-statesThere are many things that remain a priority in the wake of this heinous crime, but let’s hope that the healing process leads to a renewed effort to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina and every other public space throughout this nation.

Today we learned, once again, that Confederate heritage includes a great deal of hate.

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27 comments… add one
  • Marian Latimer Jun 20, 2015 @ 10:15

    Hopefully this is related to the conversation. My first thought upon reading it was the writer has met up with “our dear flagger friend Susan,” or one of her colleagues. They just do not know when to just be absent and silent for awhile.

  • Patrick Jennings Jun 19, 2015 @ 3:34

    Here is an interesting cross-over between the tragic events in Charleston, this conversation, and the fate of the rebel flag in South Carolina’s capitol. There are some fascinating twists here.

  • Rob Orrison Jun 19, 2015 @ 2:18

    Kevin – I predict when they look at this individual, they will find mental health issues. Sorry..ANYONE who goes into a building and kills 9 people has mental health issues – that is not the work of a sane person. As far as what symbols he identified with – some other domestic terrorists (and militia groups) use the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag as an identification symbol – should we outlaw or demonize that flag too? Its not the symbols that kill and terrorize, it is individuals who have serious issues.

    • Ken Noe Jun 19, 2015 @ 3:48

      Flying a full airplane into a building seems crazy too, but I don’t remember anyone making mental health excuses for Mohamed Atta or the other suicide bombers. Indeed after 9/11, the nation explicitly rejected the notion that the killers were “individuals with serious issues” by choosing war over the courtroom. “Terrorism” is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Roof is a terrorist.

      • Kevin Levin Jun 19, 2015 @ 4:37

        Thank you, Ken.

      • Jerry McKenzie Jun 19, 2015 @ 7:28


        • Rob Orrison Jun 21, 2015 @ 15:35

          I am pretty sure those men who flew planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon had some serious mental issues as well. It takes more than blatant racism to kill another human being. The cold and calculated way this kid did this is pretty chilling (sitting in the church with the pastor for an hour). Not sure how anyone could claim he is “sane”. My point is…the Confederate flag didn’t make that kid do what he did. It has become the focus of this discussion…and I don’t think it should be the focus. If there was no Confederate flag flying in Columbia or anywhere else…these acts of racism and terror would still go on

          • Kevin Levin Jun 21, 2015 @ 16:36

            I never claimed the Confederate flag made him do anything. It certainly inhabited his racial outlook, which was no accident give its history. The issue is whether such a symbol belongs on public ground. I say NO.

  • Rob Orrison Jun 18, 2015 @ 18:10

    Crazy is crazy and terrorism is terrorism. You can make this about the Confederate flag all you want, but its not. Its about a demented young man who had some serious mental health issues and lots of hate. Hate does not follow a flag or a symbol. Plenty of other terrorists have used flags of nations as part of their hate speech…does that mean we should outlaw those symbols? No. As the SCOTUS case, they made the right decision…but other groups are worried about the unintended consequences of this case. Govt saying what is allowed and not allows opens up a can of worms. Just stop doing the vanity plates all togehter

    • Kevin Levin Jun 19, 2015 @ 0:09

      How do you know he has mental health issues? This individual apparently identified with certain symbols, the Confederate flag being one of them.

  • Marian Latimer Jun 18, 2015 @ 18:04

    I am just out of words. I’m disgusted. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m scared. I was up watching this until well past 3 AM because I have my sleep all out of whack. (sleeping half the day away because of meds for knee replacement) It just paralyzes me to see this is becoming an almost monthly if not weekly thing. I was reading the Detroit papers online late last night and the comments were incredibly racist for the most part. I do not understand why this has become such a racist country or if it’s me, if I’ve not been aware of it in the past. It also seems to be the same bunch that excuses rape as being the woman’s fault, she regretted it later. There are a lot of hateful and angry people out there.

    The thing about the Confederate flag that people do not seem to get is this; it is fundamentally rubbing an entire race’s face in another race’s attitude that they may have lost the war, but they are still going to keep the upper hand, and given the status of African Americans in some of the cities and areas of the country, they may be winning that battle, and the poor blacks are blamed for their status.

    The flag, be it flown from a state building or on a pickup truck, is saying, we can’t say what we want to say to your face, but we can still flaunt it to your face. Enough.

    • Jerry McKenzie Jun 19, 2015 @ 7:37

      Well said, and it’s not you.

      • Marian Latimer Jun 20, 2015 @ 9:41

        Thank you, Jerry. I believe I’ve been losing my mind for the past several years. Well, maybe I have but not so much on this front…

    • Amanda Jul 29, 2015 @ 7:32

      For the most part, we are just as outspoken as anyone else. I dont need to fly my flag in order to tell someone how I feel about them, I have a mouth for that. I know that a few bad apples don’t represent the entire race, but neither does a few bad apples represent ALL flag owners. I fully denounce racism and the supremacist attitude, and I fully embrace the battle flag as a sounthern symbol. Don’t assume that I am sending any other message than that I have the same rights as anyone else. The government’s involvement in this has given a violent population of people permission to attack people with the flag, steal their property OFF of their property, vandalize their property, dig up confederate solders, and vandalize monuments. Who is racist? People have been literally killed for their love of this heritage. Do you think we would risk death, if we’re protecting anything other than our 1st amendment rights? Most of us have done nothing to bring on these attacks, other than have the flag. No slurs, gestures or curse words. Your government made roof’s desires come to fruition. We are seeing the early stages of a race war, even though other races are sick of it and embrace the flag too.

  • Leo Jun 18, 2015 @ 15:46
  • Gregory A. Rowe Jun 18, 2015 @ 13:50

    If a “license plate” could be deemed a personal choice, the one on Mr. Roof’s car is one such example. It is not a state-issued plate. I suppose if one wants to display that on a vehicle, that is their choice. In Texas, law requires displaying a state-issued plate on both bumpers. Maybe that is the compromise here, but state agencies assist all of its citizens and that should have been taken into account, as it was by the state, in this situation. If drivers want to display something this controversial, petition the state to allow state-issued plates only on the rear and confine these sorts of personal displays to the person.

  • Rob Baker Jun 18, 2015 @ 13:39

    Ultimately I agree with the decision. Freedom of speech can go on a bumper sticker. Tax funded tags should not include offensive symbols.

    • Annette Jackson Jun 18, 2015 @ 13:46

      I agree, Rob.

    • Robert Moore Jun 18, 2015 @ 16:29

      I don’t know how all the states go on this, but in Virginia… I don’t think tags are tax-funded. If you want vanity plates you pay extra for them, and it’s not a one-time fee. It’s every year.

      • Robert Moore Jun 18, 2015 @ 16:34

        Not to mention, vanity plates are also a huge revenue pool (at least they are for Virginia).

      • Rob Baker Jun 19, 2015 @ 11:54

        All tags have tax dollars behind them. Even if the vanity plate is 100% funded by private purchase, all of the identifying features of the plate from design to its stamp are tax funded.

  • John Betts Jun 18, 2015 @ 12:36

    Well I must say that I object to having to side with SCV over this, but I disagree with the majority’s decision.

    • Lyle Smith Jun 21, 2015 @ 10:18

      I agree. I am actually gobsmacked by it.

  • Leo Jun 18, 2015 @ 12:19

    Lets not forget about the Mississippi flag. Phil Bryant, AKA Governor Philbo/Philbilly, is on record supporting it.

  • John Tucker Jun 18, 2015 @ 11:25

    Haters are sometimes birds of a feather. How many times have I encountered neo-confederates and revisionists who on one hand claim heritage and on the other inspire hate.

    odd that he seems to have friends trying to defend him. I just asked a question on a community page as to who his friends are and got slammed. by someone who appears to have a fake account.
    Would be funny (not literally) that we may know some of them as neo’s.
    The dude is suspected to be a white supremacist.

    Based on the above picture…Hum was I right?

  • Annette Jackson Jun 18, 2015 @ 11:17

    Justice Thomas joined the majority, which is news in itself. The states cannot be compelled to issue a license plate, as license plates are now considered to represent the states rather than the individual, if I interpreted the decision correctly.

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