Terry McAuliffe announced the decision today, citing the recent killing of nine people at a black church by a white supremacist.
"Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people," McAuliffe said in a statement.
McAuliffe said he's asked Attorney General Mark Herring to take steps to reverse a 2002 federal court decision that said Virginia could not block the Confederate Veterans from displaying its logo — which includes the Confederate flag — on state license plates.
At the same time, McAuliffe has asked his secretary of transportation to replace the plates depicting the flag.
"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 in a statement.
The move will ensure that vehicles such as the one pictured above will no longer promote the divisive emblem, symbolic of racism and slavery, on their number plates.
The move follows the announced removal of the flag from store shelves and South Carolina's government buildings. Several states offer similar plates; the Supreme Court ruled last week that states could refuse to issue them.