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MLK Center Atlanta: Confederate Flags Left at Historic Site, Church

Image: MLK Center Atlanta: Confederate Flags Left at Historic Site, Church
Pedestrians walk outside Ebenezer Baptist Church, which is located next to the King Center, January 31, 2006, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 04:36 PM

Two men placed Confederate flags at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center and at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta early Thursday morning, horrifying the surrounding community.

A maintenance worker noticed the four small flags positioned at the sites around 6 a.m. and told a federal park ranger who then decided to call the police.

Officials removed the flags and are keeping them as evidence. An investigation is ongoing as officials attempt to identify the men, both of whom were caught on surveillance videos.

“Let the message go out that we will not be shaken by this,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We will not be intimidated.”

Calling the culprits “misguided,” Warnock also compared the incident to swastikas being placed on a Jewish synagogue or residence.

“This is a terrorist act,” Warnock declared, according to AJC.com.

Three Confederate flags were left by the church that Dr. King once led and nearby where he is entombed. One was placed below a “Black Lives Matter, Hands Up” poster, another was positioned next to a garbage can, and the third rested next to a tree. The final flag was on a path by the MLK Visitor Center.

Rev. Shannon Jones from Ebenezer Baptist Church said the event was upsetting for the groundskeepers who had to remove the Civil War flags.

"Our grounds men were so upset, they took pictures and then they moved them,” Jones said, according to Mashable.

The incident also sickened members of the surrounding community.

“It’s disgusting,” 17-year old Azuria Beeks said of the flags placed on the church she attends. “They’re living in the past. They want us to fear them. And it’s not working,” she told the AJC.

“This breaks my heart. It’s just taking the flag to another level. That flag represents what happened in the past. And too many people are holding on to that past. It just hurts,” Atlanta resident Tracey Jackson, 45, lamented to the newspaper.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference reached out to the church. Charles Steele, the SCLC’s president, invited Ebenezer to their “table of brotherhood … to discuss our differences and impart Kingian nonviolence as we collectively work toward the great day when we all can join hands in love and respect as brothers and sisters in Christ and not perish together as fools,” according to the AJC.

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Two men placed Confederate flags at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center and at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta early Thursday morning, horrifying the surrounding community.
mlk center, atlanta, confederate flags
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2015-36-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 04:36 PM
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