Graffiti promoting a white nationalist group was found over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend on a bridge near Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Leesburg.
The slogan ‘Revolution Is Tradition’ followed by ‘PatriotFront.US’ was painted within clear view from the W&OD Trail.
The vandalism was spotted on the same weekend that Ku Klux Klan propaganda fliers were distributed in driveways in Leesburg and at homes in other parts of Loudoun County.
The Leesburg Police Department said an officer documented the incident.
“At this time, we are unable to determine when this damage occurred,” an LPD spokesman said in a statement. “We will collaborate with our local, state and federal partners in reference to this incident.”
The police department also said it coordinated with Leesburg’s department of public works to have the graffiti immediately removed.
Over the past two years, the police department has responded to a handful of Patriot Front vandalism cases. The incidents included stickers or spray paint. In 2020, there were five reported incidents of Patriot Front vandalism. In 2019, the town had two reported incidents of vandalism related to the group.The police also worked with local, state and federal partners to investigate the previous incidents.
Patriot Front is an offshoot of Vanguard America, which marched in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The group was founded shortly after Unite the Right rally.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front “was one of a number of hate groups that sought to recast itself as mainstream, patriotic Americans by dressing up their propaganda and rhetoric in Americana.”
Incidents of white supremacist propaganda distributed across the nation jumped by more than 120 percent between 2018 and 2019, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
About two-thirds of the total propaganda incidents listed in an ADL 2020 report were traced back to Patriot Front.