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  • In March, 2015, the Supreme Court heard arguments about Texas’s ban on confederate flag license

  • plates and whether the ban is in violation of the First amendment. 2015 marks 150 years

  • since the end of the Civil War, and some have argued that the southern confederate flag

  • is a symbol of national shame and institutionalized racism. So, do states have the right to ban

  • the confederate flag?

  • Well, the question is being posed by a group known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

  • Their logo, which includes the confederate flag, has been approved for use on nine other

  • state license plates. The group has also attempted to have a former KKK leader memorialized on

  • Mississippi license plates in 2011. Like many neo-Confederates, they have said that the

  • flag represents their proud Southern heritage, and is not representative of racism. The lawyer

  • for the Sons of Confederate Veterans argues that the government cannot ban the flag on

  • the grounds that it could be offensive, since doing so would be in violation of the First

  • Amendment’s free speech clause.

  • However, Texas disagrees. Back in 2010, The Board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

  • voted 8-0 to ban the confederate plates. In their arguments to the Supreme Court, the

  • Texas DMV says that the ban did not violate free speech, because the license plates are

  • government owned and consideredgovernment speech”. The reason, they say, is thatfinal

  • approval authorityof the content lies squarely with the government, not a private

  • party. So can states ban the confederate flag? Only when it comes to government owned property.

  • Private citizens, on the other hand, can paint the confederate flag on nearly every square

  • inch of their vehicles. Whether that includes a government issued license plate is for the

  • Supreme Court to decide.

  • In the same way that flags and symbols are given meaning, our language is often more

  • powerful than we think. Check out this video on Seeker about how language changes even

  • our perception of the universe. Thank you for watching TestTube, if you enjoyed this video, please subscribe.

In March, 2015, the Supreme Court heard arguments about Texas’s ban on confederate flag license

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