Tag Talk - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Tag Talk

Tag Talk

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not a state can veto a message or symbol from being displayed on a state issued license plate.

Texas denied an individual the right to a vanity plate that contained an image of the confederate flag. A member of a group called "Sons of Confederate Veterans" applied for a Texas vanity plate with the SCV logo which contains a confederate flag. The issue eventually made it to the Supreme Court.

Wichita County Treasurer Bob Hampton also is a huge history buff, especially when it comes to the civil war. His office is filled with pictures of Robert E. Lee and other confederate leaders. Lee, who never officially owned a slave, and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who owned six slaves, are some of Hamptons role models.

"Both these men are christian leaders very outspoken Christians," said Hampton.

As it turns out Hampton is a former member of the SCV and thinks that Texans should have the right to display the image on their license plate.

"If you want to have something like that why not," said Hampton.

However, Wichita Falls native Pamela Neal sees it differently.

"No, they don't have a right to put it on their license plate, but they can put it on their vehicles or household or anything like that," said Neal.

Alesha Cantu said it comes down to an American right.

"Freedom of speech that's what it's all about," said Cantu.

Hampton said that the group and the history of the confederacy are often misunderstood, even still it's unlikely you will see the symbol on his car.

"I have no problems with somebody myself, I will not be getting one simply because the flag causes a good deal of consternation which is unfortunate," said Hampton.

Representative James Frank had this to say about the issue.

"A bumper sticker is private speech - your license plate is not. Free speech must be protected. However, that does not include compelling the state of Texas to approve a particular image on a license plate," said Representative Frank.

According to Texas statistics, nearly 900,000 people in the lone star state have a vanity plate of some sort. The state raked in nearly $17.5 million from vanity plate sales.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6

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