“Love is understanding why others hate,” the statue read.
According to University communications, the message was removed Saturday morning and University police are investigating the matter.
The statue also said “Love > Hate” and “BLM,” the abbreviation for Black Lives Matter.
This is not the first time Silent Sam has been spray-painted.
In July 2015, “black lives matter,” “KKK” and “murderer” were all painted on the statues. University officials condemned the spray-painting at the time.
After that incident, the Department of Public Safety put up security cameras that look out on the statue. The installation cost $3,600.
Phrases were spray-painted on the monument again in August 2015, this time saying “Who is Sandra Bland?” referring to the black woman found dead in police custody in Texas in July 2015.
The University released a statement after the incident that condemned the act as vandalism.
“This is what Carolina is all about, and this includes our commitment to free speech and open dialogue on all issues, no matter how emotional and at times painful,” said the statement, released by then-University spokesperson Jim Gregory.
“Vandalism like this is unfortunate because it is the antithesis of open discussion and the traditions and principles for which the University stands.”
Randy Young, University spokesperson, said the cameras were in place for the August incident, but were not able to get usable footage.
In September 2015, a Confederate flag was tied around the statue’s face like a blindfold.
At the time, Young said Public Safety was not treating the act as criminal activity. They did not review the security camera footage.
“There was no damage to real property or defacement,” Young said. “So we reported and looked into it.”
The investigation into the most recent incident is still ongoing.