Adopt A Highway is a great program to brand an organization or company while supporting a neighboring community, unless the group is a far-right anti-Semitic hate group.
The Ku Klux Klan’s application to adopt a portion of Route 515 in northern Georgia was denied earlier this week by state transportation officials that reasoned signs with KKK group names could be “a definite distraction to motorists,” alluding to the Klan’s violent and racist past.
The Georgia Department of Transportation responded to the Klan's application by saying, "the impact of erecting a road sign naming an organization which has a long rooted history of civil disturbance would cause a significant public concern," according to Reuters.
The KKK stands by their intent to clean the roads without stirring anger, but the denial has caused the group to seek help from the American Civil Liberties Union.
And based on First Amendment rights, Georgia officials doubt whether they can win a legal challenge, according to AOL autos.
Executive director for the ACLU of Georgia Debbie Seagraves told CNN, “We are considering next steps and whether or not we will support the group.” Seagraves stressed that if the ACLU were to help the International Keystone Knights of the KKK, it will be based on legal precedent and have nothing to do with their beliefs.
"It's clear and understandable that the message of the KKK is offensive and hurtful to many people, but when you cede the power to the state to decide whose speech is objectionable, we give it up," Seagraves said.
Legality however may not end the dispute.
In a similar Missouri case the state lost a legal battle with the KKK. Upon installing a sign noting that the KKK adopted a stretch of highway someone sawed the sign down that same night, and again several months later. The state later named that stretch of highway for Rosa Parks according to CNN.