PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Are the words "blacks rule" and a burned Mississippi state flag considered a hate crime or vandalism? Pascagoula police are still trying to answer that question, one day after those inflammatory words and a charred flag were discovered on a residential driveway.
Meanwhile, there's a new state flag flying at Bob Comans' home. The 85-year-old was like a kid on Christmas Day as he opened his new Mississippi flag Tuesday.
"Two men come and parked out front and brought me a flag in a box and said they were from the American Legion in Gautier," Comans said.
The disabled Korean War veteran said that flag was just one of three Good Samaritans dropped off to him after WLOX aired his story one day earlier.
"It makes me feel good because I was going to have to search to find one, because I believe a lot of that stuff has been taken off the market," said Comans.
The message "blacks rule" that covered a portion of his driveway has also been removed. Some local volunteers worked to clean off that graffiti for him for free.
"I didn't know that would help me in this respect."
This patriotic Pascagoula man admits he is still disturbed by this ugly act that took place at his home.
"The people who done this and the people who were behind this are really evil," said Comans.
Pascagoula Police Department Investigator Shannon Massey agrees what happened was horrible, but said police are not labeling it a hate crime just yet.
"It's because we haven't established who is a suspect in this matter. Once we established that, we have certain criteria that we have to find," said Massey.
Massey said police have been working to solve the case, but the public's help is needed.
"Our investigators are going door to door to establish a suspect, but right now we have no leads on it."
As for Comans, he refuses to live in fear and will continue proudly displaying what he calls a symbol of heritage.
"I am going to continue to fly my American Flag and Mississippi Flag as long as I live," Comans said.