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Pride flag stolen, replaced with Confederate flag at campus ministry

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Blacksburg Police Department reports pride flags have been stolen from a religious organization near Virginia Tech.

Wesley United Methodist Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech reported a pride flag was taken and replaced with a confederate flag outside its building.

Police have since opened a larceny/intimidation investigation.

We also learned from Wesley leaders the rainbow flag has been taken down twice over the previous two weeks.

The ministry hopes whomever did this comes forward.

“Sometimes just a simple apology, you know, for what has happened is nice - you know - as I’ve said before, who we are as in our organization, we are people of forgiveness, and we will do that. You know we just, you know, hope they would come forward, not do it again,” said Rev. Bret Gresham, a Wesley campus minister.

A new inclusion flag now hangs on the inside of the building in front of a large glass window.

Wesley leaders say their priority is making sure all people know they are welcome and safe at their ministry.

The organization has since removed and blurred out photos of the flag on their social media accounts.

Virginia Tech released a statement regarding the incident, saying in part:

“Virginia Tech strongly rejects all forms of prejudice and discrimination and condemns deliberate, hateful actions. We were personally deeply saddened to learn about an act of vandalism against a ministry in our community.”

You can read the full statement here.

Leaders ask if you have any information regarding the incident, contact the Blacksburg Police Department at (540) 443-1400 or you can remain anonymous by calling the Blacksburg Police Tip Line at (540) 961-1819 or by emailing ciu@blacksburg.gov.

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