TALLAHASSEE -- The Sons of Confederate Veterans is trumpeting a federal judge's ruling as a major victory in its efforts to get the rebel battle flag on a specialty license plate in Florida.
The group filed a lawsuit in January against the state and the Legislature after lawmakers refused to take action for two years on its application for a ``Confederate Heritage'' plate.
U.S. District Judge John Antoon II in Orlando dismissed the complaint against the lawmakers, citing legislative immunity from litigation, but refused to drop the case against the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Tuesday's ruling, though largely procedural, forces the state to fight the lawsuit and poses a significant challenge to the constitutionality of the specialty-plate program.
The order ``is a huge step forward for our case and the ruling will pave the way for the Confederate Heritage plate to become a reality,'' said Fred O'Neal, the attorney for the group of descendants of Confederate soldiers.
A spokesman for the motor vehicles department said the judge's order means the stars and bars are nowhere closer to appearing on a Florida license plate. ``This is simply just a step in the legislative process,'' spokesman Dave Westberry said.
For a nonprofit organization to receive a specialty tag, it must pay a $60,000 fee and conduct a survey that shows at least 30,000 Floridians intend to buy a plate. Once the application is approved, the Legislature must pass a bill authorizing the department to issue the tag.
Lake Wales News [Florida]
Confederate flag can fly at cemetery
By KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:24 AM EST
The city’s new cemetery ordinance passed on its second reading, but not before the issue of the Confederate flag flew at Lake Wales commissioners for consideration Tuesday night.
City Manager Judy Delmar said members of the Daughters of the American Revolution had called Lake Wales officials to request the city expand the rule about allowing only American flags to be flown on veterans' graves on the traditional patriotic holidays of Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and July 4.
The DAR noted April 26 is a national holiday commemorating Civil War veterans and asked commissioners to consider allowing people to hang a Confederate flag on Civil War veterans' graves.
David Smith, president of the Lake Wales Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said "we are inviting problems when we start talking about anything other than American flags."
Commissioners decided to isolate the issue from the rest of the cemetery ordinance for a vote. Three commissioners supported allowing the Confederate flags on Civil War veterans graves: Jonathan Thornhill, Mayor Jack Van Sickle, and John Paul Rogers. Two dissented, those being Commissioners Terrye Howell and Alex Wheeler.
When the motion passed by a three-two vote, Howell said she didn't want to vote on the entire cemetery ordinance if the new motion was added, but in the end, all five commissioners voted to pass the ordinance: Confederate flags included. The flags will be allowed, provided they are not put out more than seven days in advance of the holiday and are removed during the seven days afterwards.
The new cemetery regulations were drawn up by a citizen’s committee that was formed in the wake of a city sweep of cemetery grounds which caused a large outcry. That committee discussed the Confederate flag issue, but in the end, did not make a recommendation on it before forwarding other changes to the commission.
Confederates To Rally At The South Carolina State House on Jan. 23, 2010!
Confederate flag supporters from around the South will be rallying at the South Carolina State House in Columbia in order to protest a bill to remove the Confederate Flag titled H-3588
by Trevor Benson Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Story created Dec 14, 2009, The Columbia Daily Herald
Dedication ceremony for black Confederate soldiers
The Giles County Chapter No. 257 United Daughters of the Confederacy and the General John C. Brown SCV Camp 112 were responsible for organizing the dedication ceremony for the Black Confederate Soldiers in Maplewood Cemetery in Pulaski.
Summertown Camp 2113 also assisted with the ceremony. The names on those markers are Ruffin Abernathy, Maruice Adams Cleveland, Tom Brown, Fed Clack, Daniel B. Coleman, Jacob Coleman, Mack Dabney, Whitlock Fields, Nathan Gordon, Wash Harris, Steve Jones, Richard Lester, Robert Lester, Sam Maxwell, Neal Mitchell, Giles Moore, Joseph Reynolds and Matt Rivers. The 21-gun salute for the ceremony was provided by re-enactors.