Texas agriculture commissioner backs plan for Confederate license plate

The Texas agriculture commissioner is sponsoring a new attempt by the state’s Sons of Confederate Veterans to raise money from specialty license plate, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

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Sid Miller is backing a design, which includes a soldier wearing a gray Confederate uniform who is carrying a flag of a Texas regiment, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The soldier is drawn from a painting by Fort Worth historical artist John Paul "Jack" Strain, the Morning News reported. Strain's painting depicts a Confederate soldier from the 1st Texas Regiment carrying what became known as the Texas Wigfall Flag at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland in September 1862, the newspaper reported.

Miller wrote a letter supporting the design and offered to support it, writing that he “couldn’t see anything offensive about it,” the Morning News reported.

That brought objections from Kim Olson, a retired lieutenant colonel who is running against Miller in the Nov. 6 general election. 

“This is not something I want to go to the mat for. I want to represent folks in agriculture,” Olson told the Chronicle. “We have bigger fish to fry.”

Miller said Monday that he saw nothing wrong with the plate and was not unconcerned if black Texans would be offended.

“The Confederate flag is one of the six flags that flew over the state,” Miller told the Morning News. “There's no profit in hiding our history and trying to rewrite history."

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