Members of a Confederate group in Virginia were upset after the excavator used to build a display honoring the flag alongside Interstate 95 was stolen.
“This is not going to stop,” Virginia Flaggers member Grayson Jennings told WWBT-TV. “We better not catch whoever is doing it. That’s all I have to say.”
Authorities told WWBT that the device, used to clear trees and debris from the area around the “I-95 Confederate Flag Memorial,” as the project is called, went missing sometime between Thursday evening and Monday morning. The Flaggers acquired the property near Richmond in August 2013, saying the 10 x 15 flag would remind drivers coming into the area “of our honorable Confederate history and heritage.”
However, WWBT reported that a petition opposing the project garnered nearly 24,000 signatures, and led to a large American flag being put on display near City Hall.
Chesterfield Police are reportedly treating the disappearance of the excavator, which can cost at least $20,000, as a larceny case, and believe it was taken from the area with a truck. Meanwhile, Jennings promised that the project would continue.
“I’m not the big racist flag hater that people think that we are,” he told WWBT. “We are just normal southern people that want to honor our ancestors. That’s it.”
Watch WWBT’s report, aired on Monday, below.