The Confederate Flag Could Be Discontinued in Another State

June 23rd 2015

Sarah Gray

On Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said he will seek to discontinue use of the Confederate flag on state-sponsored license plates.

This decision, announced at an appearance in Richmond, comes one day after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called for the Confederate flag to be taken off state capitol grounds and less than a week after nine were shot at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof. Immediately following the deadly mass shooting, there were protests and calls to remove the Confederate flag, which was on Roof's license plate and in many of Roof's photos, from the South Carolina capitol grounds.

Gov. Nikki Haley's Words About the Confederate Flag

Protestors just had historic success in South Carolina.

Posted by ATTN: on Monday, June 22, 2015

McAuliffe connected the issue in South Carolina to his own state.

"Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people,” McAuliffe stated. “Even its display on state-issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people."

Less than a week ago, the Supreme Court dealt with a similar decision in Texas. On June 18, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas was not legally obligated to issue license plates with the Confederate flag. The issue in that case was whether the state could refuse permission to an organization requesting use of the Confederate flag on a specialty plate.

The Supreme Court "ruling throws into question an older court decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that the plates are private speech," the Washington Post explains. "Virginia and Maryland have been under court order to offer specialty plates for the Sons of Confederate Veterans featuring the flag insignia."

Here is the order form for a Confederate flag license plate on the Virginia DMV website:

Virginia DMV Confederate Flag

The governor instructed 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,” WTVR reported. He also asked Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane to come up with a plan to replace Confederate flag license plates currently in circulation. According to WTVR, in Virginia there are 1,594 Sons of Confederate plates.

“These steps will, I hope, 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 said.