When the offended industry started targeting the Confederate flag back in the 1990's, I stated then that the same logic could and would be used against the American flag. I was right.
On Cinco De Mayo, 2010, students at Live Oak High School were told to remove shirts, hats and other clothing bearing the American flag for fear that the articles would incite violence on campus . . . A federal court ruled that Live Oak has the right to restrict a student’s free speech when it is likely to cause a substantial disruption. Story here.
Why would wearing the flag of one's country cause "a substantial disruption?" I'd love to see some of you academics (Yes, I know you read this blog) who support relegating the Confederate flag to museums respond to that question. Of course, you won't respond because your logic (sic) is inconsistent. You don't have an answer for this without exposing either your inconsistency or your real agenda.
Of course, many of us know what's really going on.
And, in a related issue, there are a number bloggers discussing the recent Texas license flag flap, yet most of them are ignoring the broader (and more important) issue: government censorship of free speech. What makes the Texas decision even sillier is the fact this board is willing to waste taxpayer money in a legal fight that they, by all indications and precedent, have zero chance of winning. States throughout the Nation have, for some time, used vanity and specialty plates to add dollars to their respective coffers. Nothing wrong with that - until the government begins to pick and choose what it thinks may be "offensive" in a medium that the courts have consistently ruled is a free speech issue.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans will get their plates. And why shouldn't they? The SCV is a federally recognized 501(c) 3 organization. The symbol they propose for the license plate is a legally protected trademark and logo. They have just as much right to request and receive a specialty plate with their logo as the Lions Club and, again, that is what the courts have consistently ruled. The SCV has won every one of these legal fights. That makes for a very strong case, despite what you may be reading on other blogs. As the SCV's attorney, Arthur Strickland, said after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the SCV's favor over the Virginia license plate in 2004: "When Virginia got into the business of deciding to make billboards out of license plates, they subjected themselves to the constraints of the First Amendment." So, go ahead Texas, burn the taxpayer's money on the altar of political correctness.
The constitution guarantees freedom of speech. It does not guarantee freedom from being offended. And, as I noted earlier, once you step on that slippery slope, there's no stopping the natural progression to other "symbols" that might "offend" someone and cause "substantial disruption." While the courts have been willing to restrict this type of speech in government schools, they've been much more reluctant to do so with mediums designed to be instruments to express views, sentiments, and loyalties. I seriously doubt that Texas license plates will become the lone exception.