(ATLANTA - April 16, 2014)
Just a little more than a week before Confederate Memorial Day is officially observed across the state, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have released the first update on the sale of their new specialty license plate in Georgia which prominently features the Confederate battle flag since it made national news in February.
Media outlets across America carried the story in February concerning the new specialty plate for the Sons in Georgia after the Georgia Division of the SCV was invited by the state of Georgia to submit a new design for their decade-old specialty plate. The new design which was approved bears the Confederate battle flag across the entire length of the plate. The new design drew hate-filled rhetoric from groups who oppose any display of Confederate symbols or observance of Southern heritage.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans took the position in February that despite the fact that political correctness has made it acceptable for all groups to celebrate their history and heritage except Southerners, the SCV believes that all people have a right to preserve their own valuable way of life and to celebrate their heritage. Georgia SCV Division Commander Jack Bridwell stated that it is his and the Georgia Division's intention to make sure that all of Georgia's young people understand why they should be proud of their Confederate ancestors and their Southern heritage, and he stated that the Georgia Division is just beginning a major campaign to that end.
Groups opposing the new Georgia Division specialty plate were quick to speculate in February that sales of the plate would be dismal following the negative attention that it had received.
This week, the Sons of Confederate Veterans received the first report from the Georgia Department of Revenue on the sale of the plates since the new design became available in February. Even though the new design was not released to the media until the middle of February, reports show that total sales of the SCV plate were up to 175% of sales of the SCV plate during the preceding month of January this year -- a considerable increase and a much different response than predicted by opponents of the SCV.
Tim Pilgrim, adjutant for the Georgia SCV, noted that the numbers for February which were just received from the Department of Revenue were remarkable, especially given the fact that the public only knew about the new design for less than half of the month of February. He said that preliminary reports from local tag offices around the state indicate that the number of sales of the plate in March may actually surpass the spike in sales that occurred in February.
The surge in sales of the SCV license plate, especially in light of the opposition to it, demonstrate a growing support for Southern heritage in Georgia and a stiffening of resistance among the population at large to the never-ending demands of political correctness.