Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced his position Tuesday, citing the killings at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and a U.S. Supreme Court decision that said states can limit the content of license plates.
Virginia vanity plates include one that pays homage to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group's logo contains the battle flag.
McAuliffe says he's asked Attorney General Mark Herring to take steps to reverse a 2002 federal court decision that said Virginia could not block the group from displaying its logo on state license plates.
McAuliffe says he's also asked his secretary of transportation to replace the plates depicting the flag.
McAuliffe called the Confederate flag "hurtful" to too many people.