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Back in October, Nathan Kirk, who lives and owns a gun store in Blount County, Ala., ordered a new vanity license plate for his Ford F-150. The plate featured the Gadsden flag, better known as the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, and the letters “LGBFJB.” Kirk says he paid a whopping $700 for the specialized license plate.

Of course, we all know what that letter combo stands for: “Let’s Go, Brandon. F*** Joe Biden.” Somebody at the Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, decided months later that they didn’t like it.

Last month, Kirk received a letter from the state telling him that he had to return the plate within 10 days or face hefty fines as well as lose his vehicle registration.

“The Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, has determined the above referenced license plate contains objectionable language which is considered by the Department to be offensive to the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama,” the letter read in part, as reported by AL.com.

Department spokesperson Frank Miles told AL.com that “The department does not allow the ‘F-word,’ or any acronym for such, on a personalized license plate. That is the department’s only issue with this plate.”

Alabama has a history of rejecting vanity plates for objectionable content, from sexual and racial references to hatred for rival state schools to even expressing disdain for traffic on certain highways. In one infamous case, the state retroactively recalled a plate reading “NOHOMO.”

Instead of simply complying with the state, Kirk went to the media, and that gamble paid off. He received another letter from the Department of Revenue last week apologizing for recalling the plate and allowing him to keep it.

“The Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, has determined the above referenced license plate will not be recalled,” read the second letter. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Related: NBC: ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ is a ‘Right-Wing Slur’

Kirk told one podcast host that he interpreted the second letter as the state saying, “We’re sorry, Mr. Kirk. We really apologize. You’re a lot bigger and stronger than us.”

Even though the message on the license plate was crystal clear, Kirk argued that the state shouldn’t have jumped to such conclusions in the first place.

“It could be my kid’s initials,” he said. It could be my grandmother or grandfather. It’s just letters. It doesn’t spell anything.”

He also argued that he didn’t intend on saying “F*** Joe Biden” but rather “Forget Joe Biden” and that the state has no way of proving otherwise.

One might argue that “LGBFJB” is redundant, since “Let’s Go, Brandon” has become a more polite way to say “F*** Joe Biden.” The slogan emerged last year when NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won a race. As the NBC Sports reporter interviewed Brown after the race, viewers could clearly hear the crowd chanting “F*** Joe Biden.”

The reporter claimed that the crowd was chanting “Let’s Go, Brandon,” and a movement was born. Merchandise and even chart-topping songs have taken advantage of the new euphemism for what we all want to say about the president but can’t in polite company. It’s also led to a backlash from corporations like Peloton and Titleist, who have banned the phrase as an option for personalization.

Kirk recognized that freedom of speech often goes one way in today’s culture. Left-wing statements go unchecked while conservatives face cancellation for a number of reasons. He saw his license plate as a way of expressing his opinion, as well as the views of many other people.

“If one side can say their opinion, why should another side feel like they can’t?” he mused.

Source: This post first appeared on PJ Media

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