WASHINGTON — A massive Confederate flag is still flying along Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia, but the pole it flies from has been deliberately damaged.
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office says the words “Take it down” and “Racist” were spray painted on the base of the pole.
A rope that’s used to raise the flag was also damaged, and someone tried to remove a metal plaque attached to the pole.
A group called the Virginia Flaggers owns the flag and pole, which is located on private property.
The vandalism was discovered Sunday afternoon, and the group’s spokesperson Barry Isenhour told WTOP in an email that later that day, security cameras were installed in several places on the property.
Isenhour said the group plans more security upgrades, and they plan to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal or vandals.
Despite calls by some residents for the Confederate flag to come down, Stafford County Attorney Charles Shumate told the board of supervisors last month that the flag can fly in the location legally.
In response, a woman has been granted a permit to erect a tall flagpole and a large Black Lives Matter flag on her Stafford County property.
Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Barry Isenhour was the spokesperson for Virginia Flaggers, not Susan Hathaway.