CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield County neighborhood is keeping an eye out for vandals who took aim at a homeowner’s Confederate battle flag.
“I don’t know what their message was,” says Ann Tolliver, “I don’t know the purpose of coming clear up in my yard to tear my flag down and then to turn around and burn it too?”
Tolliver feels like she’s been sucker punched.
Overnight, while she was sleeping, someone stole the Confederate battle flag that had flown in her yard for years.
Then they ripped it up, set it on fire and tossed it into neighbor Tracie Johnson’s driveway.
Johnson says her son spotted four people in Tolliver’s yard around 1:15 Tuesday morning.
She says they shouted at the strangers and hoped to scare them away.
“My concern is how brazen these people were. You know to know that people were watching and to me that’s the scary part,” explains Johnson.
The vandals also busted lights and overturned a windmill.
Witnesses say the suspects, who were in a smaller white car, continued to circle the neighborhood even after they’d been spotted.
What happened here is weighing heavily on a lot of people in this normally quiet Chesterfield County neighborhood.
“She’s not flying it out of hate. it’s not a hate thing for us, it’s heritage,” adds Johnson, “And the sad part is this flag belonged to her husband that died.and that’s what makes my heart ache for her.”
Tolliver’s husband passed away a year and a half ago.
“It’s not hatred at all. I don’t know why they had to do it. We’ve flown it for years,” says Tolliver.
Tolliver raised up a new Confederate battle flag Tuesday afternoon because she refuses to give up the historic symbol that vandals took down.
She tells 8News there are two other people in the neighborhood who usually fly Confederate flags, but they took them down recently because of all the controversy.
Police are investigating.
For more coverage on the Confederate battle flag controversy, click here.