Police near Georgia's coast are investigating the thefts of 70 Confederate flags from the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.

The Jacksonville Times-Union reports that the stolen flags were small replicas of the third official flag of the Confederate States of America, which includes a red bar and the familiar battle emblem in the corner (http://bit.ly/2bCwOKb ).

James Carter said his local Sons of Confederate Veterans group placed the flags in Oak Grove cemetery in April for Confederate Memorial Day, an official holiday in Georgia and other southern states. The flags were reported missing on August 18.

Carter says Confederate soldiers were called to serve, "just like Union soldiers answered the calls of their states."