Police are searching for the person or people responsible for stealing a Delaware man’s Confederate flag and vandalizing his property.
Barry Binkley Jr. of Newark, Delaware told NBC10 a vandal or vandals went to his home on Frazer Road Tuesday and took his Confederate Flag, which flew for years from a flag pole in his yard.
“They cut it, and then the flag dropped, and they took it,” Binkley said.
Binkley also says the vandals broke out the front window of his truck and spray painted his boat with profane graffiti while accusing him of being a racist.
“Why me?” Binkley asked. “What did I do wrong?”
Binkley believes he was targeted for displaying the flag. He also has a Confederate flag wind screen on the side of his garage which he took down Wednesday night as well as a Confederate flag handkerchief. Binkley says that for him the flag symbolizes southern history and pride rather than racism.
“It’s my freedom to hang what flag I want to fly,” he said. “You can hang yours in your yard. I can hang mine in mine.”
The vandalism comes in the midst of a national debate over the Confederate flag as well as a push to remove it from the Statehouse grounds in South Carolina following a shooting in a historic black church in which nine African Americans were killed.
The suspect in the shooting, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, who is white, appeared in photos waving Confederate flags and burning or desecrating U.S. flags and purportedly wrote about carrying out racial violence. Survivors of the church shooting told police he hurled racial insults during the attack.
Police told NBC10 they have no leads in Binkley’s case and are not considering it a hate crime since no racial slurs were used. Binkley meanwhile said he plans on flying another Confederate flag at his home.
“Will there be another one flying? Damn sure there will be,” he said.
Binkley also said however he’s willing to listen to anyone who is offended by his display.