McAuliffe axing Confederate flag on Virginia vanity plates


Gov. Terry McAuliffe is deep-sixing the Confederate Battle Flag from Virginia vanity license plates, saying it is â€œunnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.”

“While 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.

“Last 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:

“First, this morning I asked the Attorney General’s office to take steps to reverse the prior Court ruling that requires the Confederate flag be placed on state license plates.

“Second, 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.

 

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.