McAuliffe said he has 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." He also told the Secretary of Transportation to "develop a plan for replacing the currently-issued plates as quickly as possible."
"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.
There are currently 1,594 Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates in Virginia, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV was not yet clear on what to tell drivers who currently use the plate that displays the Confederate flag.
"We've had this same symbol for over a hundred years," Bragg Simmons said.
Simmons was one of the first in Virginia to request the Sons of Confederacy License plate to honor relatives who fought in the war.
"I don't like this," Simmons added. "I think we should be able to celebrate our heritage."
The Virginia Flaggers released this statement in response to Governor McAuliffe's decision.
"We call on the Governor to retract this divisive proposal, end the discriminatory assault against Virginia’s rich Confederate history and heritage, and allow all of the Commonwealth’s citizens the opportunity to honor their ancestors, heritage, and celebrate their culture without prejudice. "