Breaking News - KKK controversy roils downtown Dahlonega
Protesters and a pro-Ku Klux Klan banner greeted motorists as they made their way through the Public Square of Dahlonega Thursday morning.
As the sun rose on a sign that read "Historic Ku Klux Klan Meeting Hall," shocked residents arrived in front of the old Piazza building with signs of their own.
Valerie Fambrough was one of the first on the scene with a poster board that read "Not in My Town."
Sarah Smallwood soon joined her with a sign that read: "I was raised in a town of love not hate!!!"
"You have to speak up when you see something like that," she said. "I know some people that this may scare or intimidate and I don't want people to feel like that in our town."
Mayor Gary McCullough said he wasn't happy to see the banner either.
"It's not something we want to see in Dahlonega," he said.
City officials were able to remove the banner since it violated a sign ordinance. However, they had no grounds to remove the pair of flags emblazoned with the KKK crest and the Confederate emblem. For that they needed permission from building owner Roberta Green-Garrett, who was vacationing in Florida.
As the crowd grew, The Nugget contacted Green-Garrett and asked her if she planned to have the KKK flag removed.
She initially said she needed more information on the situation. An hour later the flags were taken down as well.
Look to next week's edition of The Nugget for a detailed account of this story.