Court Hears Case Over Rejection of Confederate Flag Plate

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
|  Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013  |  Updated 5:40 AM CDT
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Did Rejecting Confederate Flag Plate Violate Free-Speech?

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 A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on whether a Texas state board violated the free-speech rights of a group that petitioned for a customized license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag.

The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued in 2011 after the state Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected its application for a specialty license plate.

The group says its design honors the memory of Confederate soldiers and represents Southern heritage, but the board concluded it would offend many residents.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, ruling the First Amendment doesn't require the state to place the flag on government-controlled property. The group wants a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn that decision.

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