1:50 p.m. update: The Confederate battle flag was taken down by University grounds crews. It is still unknown how long the flag was on the statue.
University Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.
For the third time in as many months, the Silent Sam statue on McCorkle Place looks a little different.
The statue was blindfolded with a Confederate battle flag sometime between Tuesday night and mid-morning Wednesday. The Confederate memorial was tagged with spray paint reading "black lives matter" and "who is Sandra Bland?" on two separate occasions in July and August. The spray-painting referred to Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody in July.
Shortly after the spray-painting of the statue in August, the University announced the formation of a task force to examine Silent Sam and other racially-charged campus fixtures.
Randy Young, a spokesman for UNC Department of Public Safety, has not yet returned requests for comment on possible suspects.
Noel McIntosh, a freshman, said she didn't realize what the statue was until her sister pointed it out.
"The fact that it's still up is an issue to some people," she said. "I don't really like it either."
She said she thinks it's obvious that students don't want the statue on campus.
"He's a Confederate soldier," she said. "I mean we all know what the Confederacy stood for and what they were advocating for. I don't agree with it."
McIntosh said the spray-painted statements on Silent Sam earlier this year were a way to get that message across.
"I think it's very bold for people to do that and I commend them for that," she said.
Trevor Moss, a junior, said the addition to Silent Sam was a better statement than the spray paint.
"It's definitely a step up," he said. "I mean, if you're going to make a statement about something, you should definitely be classy about it."
Jim Gregory, a spokesman for the University, said the statue has had a controversial history.
"This has historically been a source of expression for people," he said.
Kat Lambert, a freshman, said she wanted to climb up the statue and take the flag down.
"It shouldn't be there," she said. "I love my school."
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