Mississippi Considers Plate Honoring ... KKK Leader

Sons of Confederate Veterans want to honor general-turned Klan leader

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2011 12:55 PM CST

(Newser) – The Sons of Confederate Veterans have rustled up some controversy in Mississippi, by proposing a specialty license plate honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the earliest Grand Wizards of the Ku Klux Klan. The group wants the state to issue a series of plates commemorating the 150th anniversary of what it calls the “War Between the States,” with a different design every year from now to 2015. Forrest would be 2014’s plate, according to the AP.

“Seriously?” the state’s NAACP president said when asked about the plates. “Wow.” Forrest is praised by some war buffs as a tactical genius, but others revile him for ordering the 1864 massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow, and for his aforementioned Klan activities. Forrest did distance himself from the Klan later in his life, however. “If Christian redemption means anything … he redeemed himself,” says one SCV member. The SCV have had a special plate since 2003, which features a small Confederate flag.

Three members of the Ku Klux Klan hide behind a combination Confederate and American flags during a rally in New York in this file photo.
Three members of the Ku Klux Klan hide behind a combination Confederate and American flags during a rally in New York in this file photo.   (Getty Images)
Greg Stewart, a member of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, displays a sample of the latest Civil War sesquicentennial tag, adjacent to the current tag.
Greg Stewart, a member of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, displays a sample of the latest Civil War sesquicentennial tag, adjacent to the current tag.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Greg Stewart, a member of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, displays a sample of the latest Civil War sesquicentennial tag, adjacent to the current tag.
Greg Stewart, a member of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, displays a sample of the latest Civil War sesquicentennial tag, adjacent to the current tag.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow

The idea of celebrating such a person, whatever his accomplishments in other areas may have been, seems like a very poor idea. - Robert McElvaine, director of history at Millsaps College in Jackson

« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
12%
7%
4%
50%
13%
15%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment