Heritage of South featured

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 1999

on new car tags


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The Confederate Battle Flag may not be flying over the Alabama State House anymore, but is likely to be displayed on cars of some Alabama drivers.

In March of this year a legislative committee approved a request by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans to create a car tag featuring the battle flag. The flag is features a logo which is similar to that of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and includes the Confederate Battle Flag.

Alan Boothe, (D-Troy), said he does not have a problem with the car tags, but hopes that it will not be linked to racist groups and cause problems.

"I don’t think the flag should be used as a symbol for racist organizations," Boothe said. "It always upsets me when people like that desecrate the Confederate Battle Flag."

Boothe said he has deep respect for the Confederate Flag because his ancestors fought for the heritage, and the what the flag truly stands for means a lot to him. He said throughout history the flag has been linked with many things that have nothing to do with the flag.

"It is a shame that a small group of people abuse the symbol of southern heritage the way they do," he said.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a group who is also proud of the heritage of the South and the Confederacy and want to make people aware of its heritage and history.

The group plans to use the proceeds from the flag for programs to help preserve the history of the South and the Confederacy.

The tag created by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is called a generic tag. The generic tag costs $50 in additon to the cost of the regular Pike County tag, said Pike County Probate Judge William C. Stone.

"The generic tag is a metal tag with a logo sticker that goes on the left-hand side of the tag," Stone said. "The generic tag with the logo is an intermediate step to the full-metal custom plate."

The logo sticker is red, white and blue, features a red heart with "Heart of Dixie" inscripted inside, a Confederate Battle Flag, and the date 1896.

The additional cost of generic and custom tags is used to help fund the sponsoring groups and additional costs. In the case of the Sons of Confederate Veteran, $41.25 will be go back to the organization, $5 will be given to the Buskey Penny Trust Fund, which raises money for health-related programs through the health department and school, and $3.75 will be used for manufacturing costs, Stone said.

As of now the tag displaying the Confederate Battle Flag will only consist of a logo, but if the organization sells 1,000 tags it will qualify for a custom tag. A custom tag will have a completely different design instead of just a logo. The Alabama Division of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans includes about 2,000 members with documented lineage to Confederate veterans.

Boothe said it is okay for those who wish to use the tag as a way to display their pride in the history and the heritage of the South.

"If people want to pay to have it on their car, it is okay with me," he said.