ROCKINGHAM — Earlier this week, vandals struck one of three street signs marking Confederate Avenue in the Skyline Terrace neighborhood between U.S. 1 North and East Washington Street.
Red paint was used to cover the entire street’s name, but the letters were still visible beneath the paint.
City of Rockingham Planning Director John Massey said such acts are not unheard of, and he did not tie the incident to others across the state and nation in response to South Carolina’s June 23 decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from its statehouse grounds.
South Carolina made that decision days after authorities say nine members of a black church in Charleston were gunned down by 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, who admitted he had deliberately set out “to kill black people.”
The historic decision had a ripple effect that set off a wave of anti-Confederate sentiment resulting in a national push to have all symbols of the Confederacy including monuments, flags, statuary and historic markers removed from public places.
“It’s not unusual for us to see street signs vandalized,” Massey said. “It happens. I’ll call public works and send them to check into it.”
— Melonie McLaurin