RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A Southern heritage group says it is going to federal court to keep the Confederate battle flag on Virginia license plates. The Virginia division and the national leadership of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said Thursday they want to stop the state from banishing the image of the flag from the plates. In June, Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the flag “unnecessarily divisive and hurtful” in saying he wanted to phase out the plate. His announcement came after the mass killings of nine African-Americans inside a Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In announcing his bid to banish the flag’s image, McAuliffe asked the attorney general to move to have a court vacate a decision that cleared the way for the plates to be put on the plates.