On June 23, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) said he is moving to stop the issuance of license plates that bear the image of the Confederate flag.
The flag is printed on license plates that “[recognize] the Sons of Confederate Veterans” in that state. McAuliffe wants to stop more plates from being issued, and he wants to issue new, flag-free plates to drivers who already have the Confederate flag on theirs.
According to The Washington Post, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled specialty plates were “private speech,” and therefore protected, in the past. But just a week ago, ” The Supreme Court ruled that Texas is free to reject a specialized license plate featuring the Confederate flag.” McAuliffe is pressing to align with the latter decision.
He has already asked “Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) and his transportation secretary, Aubrey Layne, to start the process of reversing the prior court ruling and replacing the current plates ‘as quickly as possible.’”
McAuliffe said, “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. Even its display on state-issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.