Obama lawn sign replaced by rebel flag

Oct. 21, 2008 at 5:39 PM

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Vandals removed a Barack Obama lawn sign from the yard of a Baptist minister in Virginia, replacing it with a Confederate flag.

Leroy McLaughlin, a Richmond barber who has served as pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church for 50 years, lives in a once-rural part of Chesterfield County where his 4 acres are now surrounded by subdivisions. He learned of the flag when a family member returned home from a high school football game Friday night, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

When he went outside, he stopped a neighbor from pulling the flag down and called police.

On Monday, as McLaughlin put up a new sign watched by a reporter and photographer, a small car drove by three times with its horn honking. Someone in the car yelled out the window "No change" -- apparently a reference to the "Vote for Change Nov. 4th" message on the sign.

Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the Obama campaign in Virginia, said that both sides have "overzealous supporters" and urged both Democrats and the Republican supporters of John McCain to keep their heads.

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