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ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia officials have once again approved a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a debate among those who believe the symbol honors Confederate heritage and others who see it as racially charged.

The Georgia division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans requested the new plate. Its old one had a small Confederate battle flag. The new one features an additional, larger image in the background that covers the entire plate.

A group spokesman says it means no offense and people have a right to commemorate their heritage.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference spokesman Maynard Eaton tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state shouldn't have sanctioned the move and calls displaying the emblem "reprehensible."

Gov. Nathan Deal says he was unaware of the plate.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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