George Washington Statue in Portland Toppled, Covered in Burning U.S. Flag

Amid ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd, a statue of George Washington, the first president of the U.S., was torn down Thursday night by a group of people in Portland, Oregon's largest city.

"People have torn down a statue of George Washington at 57th and Sandy in NE Portland. @fox12oregon," wrote a reporter for FOX 12 Oregon, Drew Reeves, on his Twitter account.

A U.S. flag was seen burning at the head of the statue before it was toppled using a rope. Another U.S. flag was seen burning over the statue after it was toppled on the ground, according to video footage and images shared on social media. Police are reported to be at the scene.

The statue was spray-painted with the words "genocidal colonist," among other words, according to images shared on social media.

Around 30 to 40 people were there at the time of the incident where the statue stood in the lawn of the German American Society, Portland's KATU reports.

A news photographer for Portland's KOIN, Matt Rashleigh, noted: "The George Washington statue on NE Sandy in #Portland #Oregon has been pulled down and vandalized. Portland Police officers inspected the damage. Someone left a note and a few dollars on it next to the spray painted bronze. #koin6news," in a post on his Twitter account sharing images of the scene.

Andy Ngô, editor-at-large at The Post Millennial, described: "Antifa rioters on Sandy Blvd. in Portland draped a US flag over a George Washington statue & set it on fire. They then toppled the statue. 'Genocidal colonist' & 'f— cops' are sprayed on monument. Rioters have began to build another autonomous zone nearby," in a post on his Twitter account.

User @hungrybowtie wrote: "Another flag burning, this time on George Washington's back. #Portlandprotest #statue #blacklivesmatter #PDXprotests #pdx #oregon #blm #acab #pdx #georgewashington #flagburning #StatuesMustFall."

Newsweek has contacted the Portland Police Bureau for an update on the latest incident.

The nearly 100-year-old statue, dating back to around 1926, was said to be a part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection, courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

The latest fallen statue joins a string of other monuments torn down by protesters across the country, including several in Virginia this month.

Last week, a Confederate monument made of four statues in Portsmouth, just outside the Virginia state capital of Richmond, was torn down by demonstrators.

Also last week in Richmond, a Jefferson Davis statue was also torn down by protesters. A large crowd formed at the scene and cheered as police towed the statue away.

A statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown Richmond was also knocked down by protesters last week. The monument was spray-painted and set on fire before being thrown into a lake.

Last Saturday, a statue of Confederate leader Williams Carter Wickham in Richmond's Monroe Park was toppled. Its pedestal was scattered with Black Lives Matter slogans.

Protests continue across the nation following the killing of Floyd, who died shortly after being pinned to the ground with a knee to his neck during an arrest made by the Minneapolis Police Department. The incident sparked the Black Lives Matter movement in an outcry against police brutality and racism.

Washington, D.C. George Floyd protest May 2020
A protester throws a U.S. flag into a burning barricade during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Getty Images