â€œWhile it is true that legislation passed by the General Assembly in 1999 requires specialty license plates for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the legislation specifically attempted to prevent the Confederate emblem from being part of the design. Federal court decisions, however, required DMV to allow the emblem in the design,” McAuliffe said at an event in Richmond this morning.
â€œLast week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could indeed prevent the Confederate emblem from being placed on their license plates, directly contradicting the prior court rulings in Virginia. Accordingly, I have directed the following actions to remove the Confederate emblem from state-issued license plates:
â€œFirst, this morning I asked the Attorney Generalâ€™s office to take steps to reverse the prior Court ruling that requires the Confederate flag be placed on state license plates.
â€œSecond, I have directed Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne to develop a plan for replacing the currently-issued plates as quickly as possible.”
McAuliffe said that removing the symbol from the vanity plates would “make clear that this Commonwealth does not support the display of the Confederate battle flag or the message it sends to the rest of the world.”
McAuliffe referred to the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, noting that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has called for removing the flag from the state capitol grounds in Columbia and because “her state can ill afford to let this symbol continue to divide the people of South Carolina.” The same, he said, is true of Virginia.