In the past year, several Confederate monuments and statues have been vandalized by groups such as ANTIFA and other individuals who claim such visible monuments are racist. On Monday, (Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday), a statue depicting children honoring the United States' national anthem was vandalized, CBS News in Baltimore reported.

The statue, made of bronze, depicting 2 young children memorializing the national anthem in Baltimore’s Patterson Park was vandalized with red paint, along with the two words, “Racist Anthem” spray-painted on the ground in front of the monument. Baltimore police officers took photos of the damage and searched the area for additional evidence.

As of now, no arrests have been made although the can of spray paint has been located. The vandalized monument portrays two young children embracing a scroll commemorating the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner." Students of Baltimore public schools erected it in remembrance of the citizen soldiers of Maryland that were ready to give their lives in defense of their homes and their country in September 1814.

City and resident response

The senseless act of vandalism has caught the attention of residents nearby. One resident stated that she is very upset about how anyone could do this to the monument, Confederate or not, it's a childrens' thing, not a racist thing. The monument was “paid” for by those public school students over a hundred years ago and for her, she and her friends used to play around the monument while growing up in the area.

The Parks and Recreation of Baltimore are presently reviewing the damage done by the unknown vandals and are aware of how sensitive this issue has become, and plan to work with City Hall, as well as with the Friends of Patterson Park to find a resolution to this issue. Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh stated that while many celebrated MLK Day, it is really a shame that others decided it was appropriate to deface a centuries-old children’s monument, even if it does memorialize the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Past acts of vandalism

In late 2017, vandalism occurred at the statue of Francis Scott Key (writer of the national anthem) in Bolton Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, where the same two "anti-American" words were painted. That act of vandalism remains under investigation. Some of the other Confederate statues vandalized around the nation include an instance in December 2017, when a statue of a Confederate soldier in a Georgia cemetery was ruthlessly damaged by unknown assailants, where they tore off the statue’s hands, the rifle, and smashed the face in. That statue had stood on top of the Myrtle Hill Cemetery since 1887.

In Tuskegee, AL, vandals struck a Confederate monument in that city's town square in October 2017, where that statue had stood for 111 years, while in December 2017, in Nashville, TN, vandals painted the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, pink.