Commission on Human Rights
Kentucky Human Rights Commission passes resolution against application for Confederate Flag License Plate
FRIDAY JUNE 24 2011 LOUISVILLE, KY - The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution against any specialty license plate bearing images of the Confederate flag or images that support the institution of slavery.
Third Supreme Court District Kentucky Human Rights Commissioner Duane Bonifer of Greensburg, Ky., read the resolution to the commission for passage at its Louisville meeting on Thursday, June 23. “We offer our support to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in denying any group that would ask for such a discriminatory license plate,” Bonifer said.
It recently came to the attention of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights through media reports that a national group based in Tennessee called the Sons of Confederate Veterans is renewing a request for the special license plate first applied for in 2007. The proposed plate would feature a Confederate battle flag and an image of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, with a slogan that says, “Honoring Our Heritage.” As many as 15,000 Confederate plates in nine Southern states are already in circulation under the group’s sponsorship, according to the Louisville Defender newspaper.
The commission is sending the resolution along with a letter to Transportation Cabinet officials asking them to deny the application and offering commission assistance regarding the matter if it would be deemed beneficial, said Commission Executive Director John J. Johnson.
The Transportation Cabinet's policy is to deny any plate design that would discriminate or can be construed as an attempt to victimize or intimidate any person due to the person's race.
“It really is time for people to grow up and stop pretending to use historic interest as guise for perpetuating backward, unintelligent ideas and attitudes,” Johnson said. “It is always very transparent, and moral, intelligent people and, I think, society as a whole, are sick of it,” he said.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Civil Rights Act. These laws protect people from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, age, and tobacco-smoking status. The classes are protected with varying stipulations in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodations and financial transactions.
People may contact the commission for help with discrimination by calling 1.800.292.5566. To learn more about civil rights, visit the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website at www.kchr.ky.gov. From the homepage, find the links to the commission Face Book and Twitter pages to follow civil and human rights-related news stories.