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After a statewide ban on license plates featuring the Confederate Flag sparked by the Charleston shooting tragedy, drivers in Georgia can now purchase plates with the symbol again. However, the image isn’t as prominent as once before but satisfies a deal made between the state and a group who view the symbol as a sign of heritage and not bigotry.

As reported by local news outlet WALB and Reuters, Georgia officials and the Sons of Confederate Veterans worked together to bring back the flag onto license plates. Given the strong opposition by flag supporters to Gov. Nathan Deal’s ban, sales of the plates are expected to be robust.

WALB spoke with South Georgia resident Trey Burgess, who is excited to have an opportunity to purchase the tags. For Burgess, the flag isn’t about hate but a display of his familial link to the Confederacy.

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And while the Confederate flag has some controversy surrounding it, Burgess is proud of it. He loves history, and has family who fought for the Confederacy.

“Long ancestral list, everything from my grandparents through blood and marriage, that dates back to Robert E. Lee.”

And while some people perceive it as something hateful or racist he believes the community should come together so nothing is misunderstood. “I may see something as one thing and you see something completely different, and as a community and a group we need to come together to discuss everything.”

The new Sons of Confederate Veterans plate still includes that group’s logo that features the Confederate battle flag.  It removes the large faded flag that made up the background of the old plate.

There will be additional costs to buy the plate. Along with a normal fee of $35, an additional $25 will be tacked on as well to cover manufacturing of the plates.

A spokesperson from the Sons of Confederate Veterans told Reuters that while they too were appalled by the actions of Dylann Roof, the Confederate Flag had nothing to do with the violent hate crime.

Photo: WALB