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Vandal’s ‘Under God’ to be erased from NC billboard

Jun 29, 2010 8:04:00 AM - thestate.com

The “Under God” spray-painted by vandals onto an atheist billboard on Billy Graham Parkway over the weekend won’t be erased until just before July 4, a spokesman for Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics said Monday.

That’s how long it will take the billboard company to restore the sign, which featured an American flag background and quoted the original phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance – “One Nation indivisible” – before “under God” was inserted after “one nation” in 1954.

“They have to print an entirely new vinyl and then schedule a crane,” said William Warren. He added that his group has reported the vandalism to Charlotte police and spoken with a nearby Shell station about letting investigators inspect video from security cameras, in hopes of identifying those who defaced the billboard.

The sign, which went up a week ago, was controversial for its message and for its location along a road named for Graham, the Charlotte-born evangelist who preached to hundreds of millions worldwide.