A statue of a Confederate soldier in front of the county courthouse in Leesburg, Va., was vandalized overnight with graffiti that included obscenities and the message “you lost.”
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the incident, which occurred after midnight Thursday. The statue is being cleaned and the damage is not believed to be permanent.
The bronze statue is of a nameless Confederate soldier and was dedicated to the courthouse in 1908. Loudoun County’s website says it “serves as a memorial to the many Rebel soldiers who died fighting for the cause in which they believed.”
The vandalism comes as jurisdictions across the country grapple with what to do with their statues honoring the Confederacy after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
Baltimore removed four Confederate statues overnight Wednesday. In North Carolina, protesters toppled a bronze Confederate statue Monday evening. And in the District, the mayor and council members are calling for a Confederate statute in city bounds to be removed.
President Trump tweeted Thursday that it is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”
“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” he continued. “Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
In Loudoun, the statue has been at the center of debate in the county, although police say this is the first case of vandalism of the statue in recent memory.
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall has said the monument should be somewhere other than county property in the middle of Leesburg, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
Supporters of the statue had planned a “Save Our History” rally next month in front of the statue, but canceled it after Charlottesville
John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, tweeted pictures of the vandalized statue and said he is “deeply saddened by what’s going on in our Commonwealth and community right now.”
No arrests have been made in connection with the vandalism.