The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about whether banning a license plate with a Confederate flag on it violates free speech.
Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Tennessee-based association, is aimed at “preserving the history and legacy of these [Confederate] heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.” It lost initially when Texas declared that “many members of the general public find the design offensive” as many associate the Confederate flag with slavery, reports the Huffington Post.
Texas rejected an application by the group for the specialty license plate in 2010 and Sons of Confederate Veterans is claiming Texas violated its free speech.
“Ill-intended or not, why would African Americans want to be reminded of a legalized system of involuntary servitude, dehumanization, rape and mass murder? It’s as undesirable as another ethnic community wishing to relive the Holocaust,” said African-American state Sen. Royce West on his website in 2011.
SCV then won in 2014 before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, reported Dallas News. The 2-to-1 decision stated that Texas engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” in its ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union agrees with that viewpoint. In its amicus brief filed for the case, it states that while it is a symbol of oppression for many, “the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”