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Virginia recall of Confederate battle flag plates challenged

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Attorneys are challenging Virginia's recall of banished license plates bearing the image of a Confederate battle flag.

The challenge was filed in state court on behalf of Leonard Tracy Clary, Virginia Division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, his attorneys said Thursday.

While a federal judge ruled the state could outlaw the plates, the filing in Brunswick Circuit Court takes aim at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and its recall of the commemorative plates in exchange for the issuance of new plates.

In a separate court action Thursday, a Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Danville challenging the removal of the third final national flag of the Confederacy. It had flown outside a mansion in the mill city where Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet fled after the fall of Richmond in the waning days of the Civil War.

In June, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced he would move to phase out the plates with the battle flag, calling the image "unnecessarily divisive and hurtful." The plates have not been issued since.

McAuliffe's decision came after the slayings of nine African-Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and a week after the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could reject a specialized license plate featuring the Confederate flag. The suspect in the Charleston shooting had been seen in photographs posing with a Confederate flag.

In late July, a federal judge in Danville, Virginia, cleared the way for the state to ban the Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates with the flag.

Attorney General Mark R. Herring said then that the ruling allowed the state to "remove a symbol of oppression and injustice from public display on its license plates."

In its state appeal, attorneys for Clary contend the plate recall is not authorized under Virginia law and goes beyond the power of the DMV. It further states that the federal ruling backing the state's ban on the flag plates did not extend to the recall.

Approximately 1,600 Sons of Confederate Veterans plates had been issued. Since the ruling, about 200 pairs have been returned in postage-paid envelopes provided by the DMV, a spokeswoman wrote in an email. She added that others had been returned to customer service centers but she did not have a count.

Clary is represented by attorneys from The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville. The action was filed Wednesday, according to electronic court records.

The decision involving the city of Danville entailed a Confederate flag that had flown on the lawn of the city-owned Sutherlin Mansion, an arts and history museum and home to a memorial of Confederate war dead. The mansion briefly served as the home of the Confederacy. recast

In August, the Danville City Council voted to banish all flags from city property other than the U.S., Virginia and Danville flags. The decision was challenged by a heritage group and others.

Herring, who announced the court decision, commended the City Council for its "courageous and unifying decision" to have the flag removed.

Comments


As Donald Trump would say, “sons of losers.  I prefer winners.”


I want 2!


That racist flag should be in a museum right next to the swastika as a banner of hate and part of an ill-gotten attempt to codify white supremacy as its core.  It was defeated and despite all the attempts in this State to reignite that hate and white supremacist mentality, they lost and to the victors go the ultimate spoils.


We should not forget that we are only talking about 1,600 license plates statewide. In a state of 8.3/million people, that’s a whole 0.00019% of the population. There are more important things to fuss about.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans can always slap a confederate flag sticker on their car or get a license plate frame with a confederate flag on it.


Too bad the people who cry for one flag, one country don’t do the same when it comes to one language, one country.  These are the same people the cry everyone is being a racist by insisting immigrants come here legally.


“1 flag unifies = stars & stripes”

The American flag is no longer uniting Americans. You cannot unite people when you magnify their differences and place more importance on one’s ethnicity. The truth is that America has always been diverse.  But the emphasis on differences has only pitted Americans against each other, and it has become hateful and increasingly violent. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise, because that is precisely what it was designed to do. This divisiveness is growing, and it will not end well.

We are not strengthened in diversity. We are strengthened by our unity.


If you see someone with a Confederate Flag & think that person is a racist, then I’d say the problem lies with you and your narrow-mindedness.


1 flag unifies = stars & stripes


Yeah, sorry the scumbags in the country made the flag into a symbol of hate but that’s a fact now and it needs to go. Just like the Asian swastika was ruined by Nazis this flag is hurtful to many people.  When I and others see it it’s not “hey look at that history buff”, it’s “hey look at the racist.”.  Displaying it makes you a jerk no matter how much you argue abotu “heritage”.


Can we recall the Governor and issue a new one?


Maybe the Sons of Confederate Veterans should use The first Confederate National Flag or Bonnie Blue vs. the Confederate battle flag?

I’m sure 99% of the population has no idea what those flags look like.

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