GLASGOW, Del. -- New Castle County police are investigating the theft of a Confederate flag from a Glasgow home.
Homeowner Barry Binkley Jr. told The News Journal of Wilmington on Wednesday that the banner had been removed from a flagpole outside of his home. A boat on the property was spray-painted with words denouncing him as "racist."
Binkley says he isn't racist and flew the rebel flag for more than 15 years, calling it a symbol that ties him to friends and family in the South.
Police spokeswoman Tracey Duffy says the theft is not considered a hate crime because no racial slurs were used.
The case comes amid a turbulent national debate about the use of Confederate imagery in the wake of last month's tragic murders at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com
Confederate flag stolen from Del. home; owner called racist