Supporters of a Sons of Confederate Veterans rally wave flags in protest at Hopkins Green in Lexington, Va., Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo)
Supporters of a Sons of Confederate Veterans rally wave flags in protest at Hopkins Green in Lexington, Va., Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo)
Supporters of a Sons of Confederate Veterans rally wave flags in protest at Hopkins Green in Lexington, Va., Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo)

 Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he wants to phase out a state-sponsored license plate featuring an image of the Confederate flag.

At an appearance in Richmond, McAuliffe (D) called the symbol “unnecessarily divisive and hurtful.”

The news comes in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of nine members of a historically African American church in Charleston, S.C., allegedly by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white man who, according to police, said he wanted “to start a race war.”

It also comes the week after the Supreme Court ruled that Texas is free to reject a specialized license plate featuring the Confederate flag.

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