Suffolk man would rather go to jail than change his confederate flag license plate

Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 17:28:20-04

Suffolk, Va. – A Suffolk man chooses his confederate flag over following the Virginia state law.

Kevin Collier said he doesn’t care if he gets in trouble.

It’s been illegal for almost a year, but Collier is so passionate about his confederate flag that he doesn’t care about the law.

“I’m not giving up my heritage rights for nothing,” said Collier.

Collier starts up his SUV Wednesday proud of his confederate flag license plate.

“It ain’t racist… its heritage not hate. I don’t know what people don’t get about that,” said Collier.

The Suffolk resident is beyond passionate about the confederate flag.

But Virginia lawmakers ruled last year to have the confederate flag emblem removed from the Son of Confederate Veterans license plate.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) said in July 2015, “It was the right thing for Virginia and now we can move ahead.”

In October of 2015 the license plate became inactive and it’s against the law to drive around with it on your car, according to the DMV.

“They put me in jail, I’ll go to jail. I will stick to my guns,” said Collier.

But Collier said he’s still driving around.

“If they come and take the truck there just gonna have to come and take me strapped in it,” said Collier, “To me that plate is part of my heritage. My ancestors fought on the battlefield for that and I got documentation to prove it.”

Collier says he’s been stopped by police officers in several cities and issued tickets for the violation.  He said like his family members that went before him, he keeps fighting, even though it may be a losing battle.

Collier admits the south lost the battle, but said, “We still won at heart.”

The DMV sent out new specialty plates for the group the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Driving around with an invalid plate is a 2 degree misdemeanor and you can be fined up to $1,000.

We reached out to the DMV about this situation and below is their response:

“Customers have mailed back about 205 sets of the old plates; however, some customers returned their plates at a customer service center and we do not have a count for those returned sets.

While we had asked that the old design of the plates be returned for recycling, our primary concern is making sure inactive plates are not on the road. It is against the law to operate a vehicle with a cancelled license plate.

As for your inquiry about  a specific customer, Virginia’s strict privacy laws prohibit us from releasing personal customer information. However, I can tell you that, in September 2015, we mailed out a new set of the newly designed Sons of Confederate Veterans to the address on file for each plateholder at that time and asked customers to place them on their vehicles within 30 days. Plates bearing the old design were no longer valid as of Oct. 4, 2015.”