Get ready for heads to roll.
Get ready for heads to roll.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today at an event in Richmond he plans to phase out Virginia license plates displaying the Confederate flag according to Virginia.gov. The flag is displayed on a specialty plate designed for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the state will continue issuing plates that recognize SCV, but plates can longer display the flag.
“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,” he said in a statement. “Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.”
He also said that he’s directed his Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne to develop a plan for replacing the currently-issued plates as soon as possible.
This comes on the heels of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley calling for the removal of the flag from the state grounds of the State House and in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of nine African Americans at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. This move also comes a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas could reject license plates that displayed the Confederate battle flag.
In Virginia, there are 1,594 Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Beyond that, if you’re looking to snag any Confederate flags or other related items from Walmart, Amazon, eBay and Sears you better hurry, because all of those retail giants have jumped on board and plan to remove all Confederate flags and merchandise from their shelves, according to CNN.
Spokesman for Walmart Brian Nick explained the company’s reasons in a statement to CNN below:
“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site,” said Walmart spokesman Brian Nick. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.”
Target and Etsy.com followed suit this afternoon.
I’m sure this will get the Virginia Flaggers just a tad heated. If you’re not familiar with the group you may have seen them protesting outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with Confederate Flags. The Sons of Confederate Veterans lost their lease at the Confederate Memorial Chapel when the museum make the decision not to extend the lease beyond May 31 this year.
In 2010, the state wrote into the lease a ban on flying the Confederate flag outside the chapel and the group was seen as recently as this month protesting the VMFA’s refusal to fly the flag on the memorial.
Please stay tuned as I’m sure this will be a continuing story.