NC lawmakers, McCrory at odds over how to remove Confederate license plates

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A week after the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, a debate over the Confederate flag rages across the U.S.

In North Carolina, the debate is centered around the flag being used on specialty license plates.

Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCroy said the flag needed to be removed from those specialty plates.

“The time is right to change this policy due to the recent Supreme Court ruling and the tragedy in Charleston,” McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said in a release.

But other Republican lawmakers don’t agree McCrory should be the one to take the lead on the issue.

“You know me, if I could do it I’d do it, but I follow the Constitution,” McCrory said.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said there is a process to make such ideas a reality.

“If there are problems with the plate, if folks feel that something needs to be changed, then that should be done through the administrative process,” Berger said.

There are more than 2,000 specialty Confederate battle flag plates across North Carolina issued to members of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Daniel Bolick, commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans, doesn’t agree with McCrory’s stance on the flag.

“I thought he was kind of a friend to Southerners and to Southern heritage,” Bolick said.

Gerrick Brenner with Progress NC Action said McCrory did not go far enough.

“Show some leadership and take some executive action and deal with this,” Brenner said.

At the General Assembly, Democratic lawmakers said the time is right for change and someone should take charge.

“What are we really doing? And do we want to stay in the past or do we want to go forward?” Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham).

Hall said he believes this is a legislative issue.

A DMV spokesman said the same thing based on how state law is written.

But Bolick said it is unfair and insulting that the flag is being linked in any way with what happened in Charleston.

A separate Confederate flag flies on top of the state Capitol twice a year on Confederate holidays.

This flag is the original government flag of the Confederate States of America.

Wednesday, McCrory said he doesn’t feel that flag should be in the same discussion as the battle flag.

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