BURLINGTON — A tweet that went viral on social media Wednesday morning claiming members of the Ku Klux Klan were waving flags on a Burlington bridge above the interstate is false, says Alamance County Sheriff Randy Jones.
Jones says the photo attached to the tweet was actually taken on Election Day and depicts Donald Trump supporters waving the American flag, a Christian flag and a pro-second amendment flag over I-40/I-85. None of the group have anything to do with the KKK nor were any waving a confederate flag. Nothing was reported to police or the Sheriff's Office about them.
The tweet sent by a twitter user named 'shorty guizman' got over 43,000 retweets and over 24,000 likes as of 1:30 p.m.
KKK on the bridge in Mebane, NC this morning 😪 pic.twitter.com/GcSQeUB3w9— shorty guizman (@kelbi1lewis) November 9, 2016
In a phone interview, Jones said he's received calls all morning asking about the photo, including from Buzzfeed and ABC News.
Trump, the Republican nominee, was announced the winner of the Presidential election Wednesday morning around 2:30.
The City of Mebane released this statement on the picture:
“The City of Mebane would like to clarify a recent viral photo on social media feeds depicting the KKK marching over a highway bridge in celebration of Donald Trump's win. As is often the case with unverified social media, this was a case of misinformation. Those in the photo are a group of Donald Trump supporters who take part in the "Flagging 40" initiative. "Flagging 40" is a Christian conservative movement that calls on supporters to rally on bridges that cross Interstate 40. The protesters wave American and Christian flags at the passing traffic below. In addition, the image was taken in Burlington on Tucker Street overpass, not in Mebane. The City of Mebane condemns any hatred and discrimination and strives to be a City of inclusion representing tolerance of one's race, religion, and political affiliation. It is our city's diversity that makes it strong and a desirable place to live. It is why our byline is “Mebane, Positively Charming.” Our city's attitude of inclusion is one reason why Prescient Company recently announced it is building its East Coast headquarters in Mebane. Lotus Bakeries, from Belgium just announced a new bakery in our city. Lidl, the largest grocery chain in Europe broke ground eleven months ago for its grocery distribution center, and Walmart has just opened up its fresh food distribution center. Mebane is a better place with companies like Morinaga America Foods that have not only made Mebane their American home, but add to the City’s overall diversity.”
David Cheek, City Manager
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