A surveillance video has been released, showing two white men placing Confederate flags at two important landmarks in the US state of Atlanta.
The footage shows the two men placing four Confederate flags at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change early on Thursday.
Authorities are investigating the incident to determine the motive and are currently looking for the two males, according to Atlanta Police Chief George Turner.
“We do have images of two white males placing those flags on the campus,” Turner said, adding, “We’re trying to identify those folk right now.”
The flags were first spotted at around 6 am Thursday by a maintenance man. The man informed a federal park ranger, who then called police.
“To place Confederate flags on the campus of Ebenezer Baptist Church – after this horrific act in Charleston [and] in the wake of all that’s happening in our country – whatever the message was it clearly was not about heritage,” Ebenezer’s pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, said. “It was about hate.”
“Let the message go out that we will not be shaken by this,” Warnock said. “We will not be intimidated.”
The controversial flag went up on South Carolina’s State House more than half a century ago at the height of the US civil rights movement.
On July 9, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved taking down the flag from Capitol grounds after the state legislature passed legislation 94-20.
The flag, which was regarded by many as a bitter symbol of racism and slavery, was removed during a ceremony on July 10.
The move came more than three weeks after the racially motivated massacre of nine African-American worshipers, including a state senator, at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.