It was a media event when the Confederate battle flag come down Friday in South Carolina, but apparently nobody was watching when flags were stolen from a Georgia state park and a private residence in Delaware.
At Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta, a worker noticed Friday morning that the Confederate flag was missing from a special terrace for flag display, said park police spokesman John Bankhead. It was quickly replaced.
The park is built around a massive outcropping of stone with a bas-relief sculpture of three Confederate heroes — Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. In the early part of the 20th century, Ku Klux Klan rallies were held there with cross burnings.
Bankhead said the park is classified as an official museum of the Confederacy, so the Confederate flag flies there legally. He said the flag theft is a misdemeanor. So far, nobody has been arrested.
In Delaware, police arrested three teenagers Friday in connection with the theft of a Confederate flag from a private residence, according to delawareonline.com.
They were charged with criminal trespass in the third degree, criminal conspiracy in the third degree and theft.
New Castle County police said the flag was taken from a flagpole outside a Glasgow home. The words “[expletive] u racist” were spray-painted on a boat at the property and a truck window was broken, delawareonline.com reported.
The homeonwer, Barry Binkley Jr., told delawareonline.com that he’s flown the flag for more than 15 years with no complaints. He said the flag is a symbol that ties him to friends and family in the South.
“It’s satisfying that they got caught,” his mother, Janet Brinkley, told delaware.com. “Hopefully, it was just those people, whoever it was, and not a popular sentiment.”
In Ocala, Florida, on Saturday, a Confederate flag outside a government building briefly came down during a protest, but it was unclear if the flag fell or was taken down, reported CNN affiliate News13.
A man was seen carrying the flag and pole to the front door of the Marion County administration building and leaving it there, News13 reported. He said the flag fell.
About three dozen people had protested the flying of the Confederate flag, which was taken down by order of the county administrator in the wake of the church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, then put back by vote of the county commission.
The Confederate flag was unofficially lowered on June 27 from the South Carolina statehouse — two weeks before it was officially taken down by vote of the legislature.
Authorities said Brittany “Bree” Newsome shimmied up a 30-foot flagpole on the statehouse grounds and removed the flag. She and James Newsome were charged with defacing a monument, a misdemeanor.