Perry's Next Racial Issue: Confederate Flag?

He could face fresh criticism over pending license plate decision
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 12:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rick Perry, currently facing criticism over the racist name of his family camp, might have a new problem: The AP points out that he has defended the presence of the Confederate flag in his state, and an upcoming decision on a flag-adorned license plate could thrust his stance on the issue back into the spotlight. In 2000, the NAACP asked Texas to remove Confederate symbols from two plaques in its Supreme Court building, but then-Lieutenant Gov. Perry opposed the request, stating that Texas "should never forget our history."

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"I want you to know that I oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments, plaques, and memorials from public property," Perry wrote in a 2000 letter to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "I believe that Texans should remember the past and learn from it." Perry also welcomed attendees of a benefit hosted by that organization in 2005, and honored a Confederate general accused of murdering black POWs in a 2007 "Message from the Governor." The issue could come to a head again this fall: The Sons of Confederate Veterans wants Texas to allow the Confederate flag on specialty license plates, an issue the state board Perry appointed must decide. (Read more Rick Perry stories.)

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