Back in June Georgia stopped selling specialty license plates with Confederate flags on them, a milestone that was greatly celebrated as the U.S. struggles to combat racism amid race driven attacks and killings, particularly this year's Charleston, South Carolina church shooting.
Alas, The Department of Revenue and the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Georgia chapter have reneged on that decision and announced that they have redesigned license plates that will include an image of the flag.
Nearly 4,000 drivers have already applied for the new plates, according to Time.
The previous design included a watermarked Confederate flag spread over the background of the plate, but the new version will have a small picture of the flag in the foreground with its color darkened to a “blood red.”
Naturally, the decision has sparked controversy because of the flag’s connection to White supremacy and racism. Throughout the last several months we have seen many states remove traces of the flag including the South Carolina statehouse taking it down following the Charleston massacre.
The announcement of these new plates is a slap in the face to all the innocent people who died at the hands of racism as well as the activists who have fought diligently to make officials see the oppression and racial divide the flag promotes.
The fact that it’s returning less than six months after the shooting that prompted its removal speaks to the tendency for everyone to quickly and easily forget important, life-altering events as soon as the “media hype” surrounding it dies down.
Just because the news isn’t talking about it anymore, doesn’t mean people aren’t still hurting and it certainly doesn’t mean the Confederate flag is now welcomed.
Historically, the flag was the official symbol of the Confederacy and “southern pride” during the Civil War era, but to African Americans it's just a blatant symbol of oppression and hatred and relates to a time in history that America should be ashamed of, not proud.