Federal authorities and police are investigating after Confederate battle flags were found around the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.

The Rev. Shannon Jones of Ebenezer Baptist tells The Associated Press that police and federal officials were working to remove the flags Thursday morning.

Jones says several flags were discovered on the grounds early in the morning. He described them as being placed "all around" the area and appearing to be plastic flags with wooden sticks.

Jones says Atlanta police Chief George Turner was at the scene.

King once preached at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. That church is part of the King center, which is a National Park Service site. Nearby is a newer Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the congregation now meets.