Virginia to Phase Out Confederate Plates

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to phase out an “unnecessarily divisive and hurtful” state-sponsored license plate featuring a Confederate flag, he announced Tuesday. A federal court had previously ruled that license plates are protected private speech, but the Supreme Court ruled last week that Texas is free to reject Confederate-themed plates. McAuliffe’s plan goes further than simply barring new cars from getting such plates: The governor says he wants to replace all current plates that have Confederate insignia. “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 said. “Even its display on state-issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.”