Carona: Reject the Plate, Read a Book

by Jose Medina

The controversy over the proposed Texas Confederate license plate we told you about earlier this year is back in the news. And one Republican state legislator has penned an open letter to Gov. Rick Perry, asking him to quash the controversy.

The letter by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, reminds us what the Confederate flag represents — as if we needed reminding, but apparently some people do — and offers a solution to the controversy: You want to study the historical significance of the flag? Fine, pick up a book.

We felt Sen. Carona’s letter is simple, yet so reasonable, that it should be shared with our readers. Here it is:

A Message to the Governor

As a friend of Governor Perry, fellow conservative, and former Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, I offer our Governor the following advice: Soundly reject the proposal before the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to approve a new license plate depicting the Confederate flag.

Those who are advancing such a plan do not reflect the sentiments of most Texans.

No one wishes to deny our history as a state. But we as leaders should take every opportunity to support that which unites our citizenry. Reminding those among us of their painful past has no place in celebrating our great state.

License plates are designed to promote tourism and commerce, to create positive identity and awareness, and to showcase those riches that make our state unique. The Confederate flag, long recognized in our generation as a symbol of slavery, racism, and defeat, accomplishes none of those purposes. Those wishing to study the historical significance of this flag and our Confederate past should instead turn to a book.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles license board will have the final say on the plate, perhaps as soon as November.