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Battle over Confederate flag license plate rages on

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that had been filed against officials who had rejected a group’s petition for a customized Texas license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag.

The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued in 2011 after the state Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected its application for a specialty license plate. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2013.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Monday the Texas board violated the group’s First Amendment rights by rejecting the license plate request.

The case was sent back to an Austin federal court.

The group says its design honors the memory of Confederate soldiers and represents Southern heritage, but the board concluded it would offend many residents.

Earlier this year, Georgia officials released a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag.

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