Tennessee’s governor favors eliminating confederate flag on license plates

Right now, it’s business as usual inside the Weakley County Clerk’s office.

“We’ve not had any problem as of yet,” said County Clerk Kim Hughey.

That could change soon for Hughey. This week, Governor Bill Haslam publicly came out against the sale of specialty license plates with the image of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“We’ve had several people as the last couple days asking if we were still able to sell those plates, and we just said ‘Yes, we’ll still sell them until we hear something differently,” she told Local 6.

The plates were first approved in 2004. The lieutenant commander for the Sons of Confederate Veterans said it’s a slippery slope. “We can’t deny the misuse of that flag by a number of other organizations. We passed proclamations condemning the use of the flag for anything other than historical reasons,” said Tom Strain.

He said the confederate flag represents a part of his family’s history. He cautions any decision could create a new fight for others.

“If they go after Sons of Confederate Veterans plate, everybody is offended by something. Who’s to say they aren’t going to go after the Choose Life plates next,” Strain said.

Hughey said the clerk’s office can’t refuse the tags to anyone who’s willing to pay for them. She said the debate about whether it’s right or wrong isn’t up to her. “The people that have come in have been kind of upset that they would consider doing away with the plate. I did have another one come in, appalled that Tennessee even had that plate.”

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