View Full Version : 'Heart of Dixie' not PC?

12-11-2004, 06:30 PM
'Heart of Dixie' gone from license plates

By Phillip Rawls, Associated Press Writer | December 11, 2004

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The state slogan "Heart of Dixie," a source of pride to some and embarrassment to others, is disappearing from more Alabama license plates every year.

One-third of the groups that promote distinctive and collegiate license plates now choose to leave the slogan off their tags.

The standard state license plate still has "Heart of Dixie," as required by state law, but it's reduced to letters one-sixteenth of an inch high, printed on a bottom corner.

In its place, the song title "Stars Fell on Alabama" is splashed across the top and bottom of the tags. Former Gov. Don Siegelman, who approved that design, said he wanted it to foster positive images at a time when Alabama was trying to recruit international corporations.

For some, "Heart of Dixie" brings up positive images about the South, but "to others it raises thoughts of the Civil War, slavery and mistreatment of African Americans," Siegelman said.

Seventeen of Alabama's 51 specialized license plates leave off the slogan. Those 17 tags promote everything from Alabama farms and forests to adoption and the University of Alabama.

Groups behind some of those plates say they were trying to come up with eye-catching designs and had no concerns about the image invoked by "Heart of Dixie."

Groups that develop a specialty plate are trying to promote their own slogans and don't want another slogan competing for attention, said Paul Till, spokesman for the Alabama Farmers Federation. The federation's plate bears the slogan "Farming Feeds Alabama."

The senior black member of the Legislature, Rep. Alvin Holmes, suspects the groups knew very well what they were doing in omitting the slogan from their plates, but wanted to do it quietly to avoid upsetting fans of "Heart of Dixie."

"Many white industrialists have come to realize what a burden it has been to this state and what the racist image of this state has cost the state economically," said Holmes, who has been trying to pass legislation taking "Heart of Dixie" off Alabama tags.

The slogan was first used by the Alabama Chamber of Commerce in the 1940s, and first appeared on Alabama license plates in 1955.

To Confederate heritage advocates, the tiny type on the standard state plate is about as irksome as the court-ordered removal of the Confederate battle flag from atop the state Capitol dome in 1993.

"They say everything we ... stand for will go by the way, and it seems to be going that way. But as long as I'm alive, they will hear from me," said Olaf Childress of Silverhill.

Childress and other Confederate heritage advocates offer stickers to put across the top of Alabama's standard plate displaying "Heart of Dixie" in type big enough to be seen in traffic. State troopers ignore the stickers because they don't cover the license numbers.

Thousands of the stickers are now displayed by people who think Alabama has taken political correctness too far, said Mobile County veterinarian Ben George, a leader in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a member of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee.

"Dixie is not a bad word," he said.

Link (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/12/11/heart_of_dixie_gone_from_license_plates/)

12-13-2004, 10:47 AM
I too, am offended by this blatant use of a word that must burn night and day in the hearts of all PC people everywhere. Where do the Dixie Chics stand on this? I mean they have offended two things, Women (Chicks) and The PC Police. I have stopped buying Dixie cups and am considering asking the the Library of Congress to go through it many books and publications and erase all refernces to Dixie, let's just say the "D" word.

While we're at it, what about all those references to the American Indian we have sen so much of, change the baseball teams (Indians, Redskins, et.al.). And how about the Green Bay Packers? You now that name surely offends vegans everywhere!