Gov. Abbott must act as AG Abbott did on rebel plates

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott no doubt casts himself as a man of high principle.

Well, here’s his chance to demonstrate it. He can ensure that the state does not issue motor vehicle license plates that carry the Confederate flag on them.

He should take the argument to the Supreme Court of the United States and argue the same thing he did while he served as Texas attorney general. The plates are offensive to a significant number of Texans and they should not celebrate Confederate Heroes Day. Period.

As the blogger Tod Robberson points out on the link attached to this post, the plates would “honor” individuals who became enemies of the United States of America by fighting to defeat the Union during the Civil War.

Robberson writes: “It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a visible symbol on a license plate or the in-your-face knowledge — especially among African American taxpayers of the state — that Texans have to pay state employees for the day off to commemorate people who were enemies of the United States and who fought for the right to preserve slavery. It’s offensive either way to a huge number of people.”

I will add that African-Americans comprise about 12.5 percent of the state’s population, or about 3 million people.

Gov. Abbott is the same man who served as attorney general. He was right to oppose the issuance of the plates before — as was then-Gov. Rick Perry. The new governor should follow suit and not allow these license plates on Texans’ motor vehicles.