ATLANTA — Confederate flags were placed around Ebenezer Baptist Church, near the King Center, and now police are hoping surveillance video can lead them to the suspects.
Police said four flags were found lying on the church property in the 400 block of Auburn Avenue.
Around 1:30 a.m., police said two white men were caught on surveillance near the front entrance of the sanctuary. It shows them placing flags on the grounds, where they were discovered by maintenance workers Thursday morning.
As soon as church leaders found out, they immediately contacted police.
“It is a hateful act. I view it as an effort to intimidate us in some way, and we will not be intimidated,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Considering the heated nature of the conversation about confederate flags, added to the well known attack on a church congregation in South Carolina, authorities said they’re not taking any chances and they’re dealing with the matter swiftly.
Homeland Security and police removed the flags and are investigating. The video has not been released.
According to the National Park Service, Ebenezer Baptist Church is where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was baptized as a child, ordained as a minister at age 19, and his funeral was held there in 1968.
King also served as co-pastor in 1960. His father “Daddy” King served as pastor.
The modern Confederate flag is actually only one of the battle flags used during the Civil War by the Confederate states.
It was originally the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, and came into use in December 1861 until the fall of the Confederacy. It was also square.
The design was later adopted as part of the second national flag for the Confederacy in 1863, but the design by itself never represented the Confederacy.
It wasn’t until the 20th century and the fight over segregation when what is now known as the Confederate flag became a symbol of Southern heritage to some, and racism and white supremacy to others.
In Georgia, the Confederate flag was introduced as part of the state flag in 1956, and remained so until a new flag was adopted in 2001.