A farm in Virginia has faced a backlash for displaying a roadside sign that urged passersby to “resist white supremacy”.

The team at family-owned Cox Farms in Centreville, Virginia, said they used their signs to promote “messages of inclusion” about Black Lives Matter, immigration and other social issues.

They have faced criticism and lost business over the messages in the past, they said in a Facebook post.

And the owners told The Independent that “some folks seem to be very riled up” by the white supremacy sign in particular. Cox Farms had been wrongly denounced as having created ”a thinly-veiled attack declaring all Trump supporters white supremacists”, a representative said.

In a Facebook post, the team wrote: “We sincerely believe that fighting injustice and white supremacy is a responsibility that can – and should – unite us all. We struggle to see how anyone other than self-identified white supremacists would take this as a personal attack.”

However, in a later post the farm owners said they had been “overwhelmed” by the mostly positive response.

They wrote: “During the off-season, we have nothing to sell, lots to say, and plenty of time for conversation.

“These signs are messages of inclusion posted so that they might provide assurance to someone who felt their validity and their belonging was being questioned, and to speak out in an increasingly hostile climate.

“First and foremost, we’re grateful for the support we’ve received from our neighbours and local community, and from across the country.

“We’re glad to know that so many people recognise why a sign like this is necessary and relevant and important right now.

“The responses have also highlighted how much confusion and misinformation there is surrounding the very notion of white supremacy.”

White supremacists including militia groups and former KKK leader David Duke rallied about 90 miles from Centreville in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. One woman was killed when a car drove through crowds of opposing protesters.

In an address following the violence, Donald Trump initially blamed “both sides” and only later issued a statement condemning Nazi and white supremacist groups.