ATLANTA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A coalition of civil rights groups in Atlanta is using this year’s Super Bowl to help kick off a renewed “war on the Confederacy,” in a fight to remove Confederate monuments around the nation.
The groups on Thursday announced a planned Feb. 2 rally on the eve of the championship football game being hosted in the city.
Gerald Griggs of Georgia’s NAACP chapter said the coalition intends to bring its message to fans from around the world who will pour into Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says there are 1,747 Confederate symbols and 722 monuments in the U.S. It says Texas, Virginia and Georgia lead the nation in having the most Confederate symbols.
Controversy about Confederate symbols ranges from historic statues, school and street names and even license plates.
In December 2018, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles denied a Confederate group’s latest attempt to create a specialty license plate celebrating Confederate soldiers.
The department’s board voted 5-3 to reject the license plate design proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which features a rebel soldier carrying a Texas regiment’s special flag at a Civil War battle. The plate was backed by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who said “there’s no profit in hiding our history.”
Miller is a staunch supporter of President Trump who has returned the sentiment in kind. Miller tweeted, “Been with him since the beginning & proud that he considers me “Trump’s Man In Texas,” in February.
The decision marked the second time the board rejected the group’s specialty plate, following a denial of a Confederate battle flag design that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.
Additionally, the design was criticized as looking similar to an existing plate that raises money for the Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)