North Carolina sells out of Confederate license plates

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Talk about ending sales of a North Carolina license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag prompted a sales rush that sold out the available stock. (WTVD)

Talk about ending sales of a North Carolina license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag prompted a sales rush that sold out the available stock.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that 152 Confederate flag plates sold out in seven days after Gov. Pat McCrory said North Carolina should stop issuing the tags. State Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Charbonneau says more plates will be available in about 30 days.

People are able to pre-order the specialty plates, and the DOT says many have already submitted their applications.

Cary resident Clyde Ward is hoping to get a hold of the Sons of Confederate Veterans tag once the stock is replenished.

"I have flown Confederate flags in years past," Ward said.

Ward says the flag is part of his lineage.

"It's part of our history. It's not something that is racial, totally. And I just feel that need be, I will go and support it," Ward explained.

The DOT is getting ready to produce 700 more plates, even as McCrory continues to urge the General Assembly to change the law. Legislators are firing back, saying the governor can act on his own if he wants to stop production.

It's costing North Carolina three times as much to make the specialty tags as the regular ones. A standard plate costs $1.62 to produce, while the Confederate plate runs $4.25.

Patrick Busch, one of the Confederate plate's opponents, feels the flag represents the Old South.

"We as taxpayers should have a right to say whether or not this should represent our state," said Busch. "It brings up a lot of hard feelings, a lot of racist feelings from back in the day. And I think, if we as a country are going to move forward, we have to get over that hurdle."

The Confederate plates are scheduled to be back in stock by Aug. 10. They will be made locally at the women's prison in south Raleigh.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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