No one has claimed responsibility for hanging a sign and flags with Ku Klux Klan symbols on a privately-owned building in downtown Dahlonega Thursday.
According to witnesses who contacted AccessWDUN, the sign was hung along the roofline of the empty storefront and depicted a hooded Klansman with the words "Historic Ku Klux Klan Meeting Hall." Two red flags with KKK symbols were placed on either side of the sign.
The command staff at the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office confirmed the items were placed on the building overnight Wednesday, but said it appeared to be a random act.
"We have no idea as to the reasoning behind it," said Lt. Chris Pfrogner in an email.
The sign was removed because it violated the city's sign code.
A small group of anti-Klan protesters held an impromptu demonstration Thursday morning, shortly after people began to take notice of the display.
Faculty and staff at the University of North Georgia received a letter from University President Bonita Jacobs, expressing her dismay at the display. The Dahlonega campus is located just off the town square.
"This incident and the expression represented by that sign and the flags are not reflective of UNG or the values that we hold," Jacobs wrote.
"This morning’s activity in downtown Dahlonega is an unfortunate blemish on our community, and I encourage us all to rise above this and demonstrate what we truly value to students, colleagues and the communities we serve."
In the letter, Jacobs encouraged faculty and staff members to participate in Black History Month activities next week on the Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses of UNG to show support for campus diversity.