Public split on Confederate flag license plates

March 31, 2015, 2:31 PM GMT+0

Americans are split on whether or not people from southern states should be allowed to have Confederate flag license plates

Last week the Supreme Court heard evidence about whether or not the state of Texas' refusal to allow Confederate flags on license plates represents a violation of constitutional rights. Texas is one of a number of states that allows its residents to pay for specialty license plates. The 'Sons of Confederate Veterans' is suing the state after it rejected a plate design which included the Confederate flag.

Overall, 40% of Americans approve of southern states allowing people to get Confederate flags on their license plates while 39% of Americans disapprove of it. Approval for allowing Confederate flags on plates is highest in the west (49%), where disapproval is also lowest (36%). In the south itself opinion is evenly split 41%-41%, while people in the northeast are much more likely to disapprove (43%) rather than approve (27%) of allowing Confederate flags on license plates in the south.

There is also a significant partisan split on the issue, with 60% of Republicans approving of southern states allowing Confederate flags on license plates and 57% of Democrats disapproving.

Partisan differences are even greater when it comes to the question of whether or not the Confederate flag is a symbol of southern pride or of racism. Overall, Americans tend to say that it is a symbol of southern pride (41%) rather than racism (31%) but among Democrats 50% say it is a symbol of racism while 28% say it symbolizes southern pride. Among Republicans 63% see it as symbol of pride in the south while only 12% see it more as a symbol of racism.

Regionally, people in the Northeast are the only ones who tend to see the Confederate flag more as a symbol of racism (32%) than as a symbol of southern pride (28%). People in the south itself as the second least likely (41%) to see it as a symbol of southern pride, as 44% of midwesterners and 48% of westerners saying it's a symbol of pride not racism.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.

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