Politics

Judge Rules Against Virginia Confederate Flag License Plates

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A U.S. District judge ruled Friday that Virginia can remove the Confederate flags from license plates.

The decision comes after a recent Supreme Court decision that the ban would not be a violation of the First Amendment, The Washington Post reports.

An injunction 14 years ago prevented the state from banning the flag on license plates, but the new Supreme Court decision allowed Judge Jackson Kiser to give the state the authority to ban it.

The judge must still decide if the ruling will apply prospectively to new license plates, or if it will include existing ones.

“This ruling will allow Virginia to remove a symbol of oppression and injustice from public display on its license plates,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement Friday. “Virginia state government does not have to and will not endorse such a divisive symbol. I appreciate Governor McAuliffe’s leadership in calling for the removal of the flag and those on my team who moved quickly to get it done.”

There are about 1,600 license plates bearing the symbol. The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been the leading group fighting to preserve the license plates and was involved in the Supreme Court case that changed the precedent that now allows a ban.

The Confederate flag became the center of heated debate after confessed South Carolina shooter Dylann Roof, who shot up a black church in Charleston in June, was seen in a picture holding a Confederate flag.

The South Carolina legislature later voted to take the Confederate flag down from public property near the Courthouse.

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