This American flag usually hangs at the fire station in Oak Creek but was found draped upside down on the sign outside Oak Creek Town Hall on Friday.

Courtsey photo

This American flag usually hangs at the fire station in Oak Creek but was found draped upside down on the sign outside Oak Creek Town Hall on Friday.

Flags stolen and vandalized

Oak Creek Police Department investigating May 8, 9 incidents

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Federal Flag Code

The Federal Flag Code prescribes the proper display of and respect for the United States flag. Here is a portion of the code:

SEC. 4 That no disrespect should be shown to the flag the United States of America.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor or water.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

- Source: U.S. Department of State Web site

— When Candy Johnson's son left Oak Creek for basic training after joining the U.S. Army last year, she and her husband purchased an American flag and hung it from the porch of their Bell Street home. Johnson's son Kane, a 2007 Soroco High School graduate, is scheduled to begin a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq on Friday.

"I've had lots of people stop by and say whenever they see the flag, they think about Kane and pray for his safety," Johnson said.

When she noticed the flag missing last week, she questioned whether to even report it stolen but ultimately decided to report the incident to the Oak Creek Police Department.

Her flag turned out to be one of five that were vandalized, stolen or tampered with in Oak Creek on May 8 and 9.

"We've never had anything like this happen in Oak Creek," Police Chief Russ Caterinicchio said. "The community is quite upset about this."

The American flag that usually flies outside the fire station was found draped upside down on the sign outside Oak Creek Town Hall on Friday morning, with the words "scream for salvation" painted on it.

"They also took a flag off of one of our vehicles and turned it upside-down," Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said.

The manager at First National Bank of the Rockies on Main Street reported the bank's flag stolen Friday. The fifth flag, from St. Martin's Catholic Church, was reported stolen Monday. Parishioners noticed the flag was missing when they arrived for services Sunday, according to the police report.

"In Colorado, there's no statute concerning desecration of the U.S. flag, but it is desecrating personal property. And it's theft," Caterinicchio said.

The Oak Creek Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction in the matter. Anyone with information is urged to call 736-8355.

Comments

armchairqb 6 years, 2 months ago

I would LOVE to ask those people who did this, "Do You Like Your Freedom?" I say we ALL hang our flags out everyday. I know I do. Just let them try to tear MINE down. I'll be waiting!!!!!!! Born in the USA

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

PS....Candy, Saturday is Armed Forces Day. The vets are having a luncheon for former veterans, their families and current armed forces personnel and their families. It's at the new community center in Steamboat. I'm sure they would welcome your family if you wanted to attend. You would be among friends and people who appreciate the sacrifice your son is making.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 2 months ago

kane-you will be missed while on your next brave journey..THANK YOU for your courage!

colonative-there is a cash reward in place

this story makes me sick!!

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

...and least I forget, Candy, thank you and your husband for raising a son of good conscience and faith. Job well done. Sons like yours give us hope in our youth and parents such as yourself give us hope for the future.

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dave reynolds 6 years, 2 months ago

not only pubic stoning but public caneing too....if im not mistaken that is a federal offense if caught lets hope the "lets make deal" DA doesn't this time and throws the book at them..thank you Kane for putting your life on the line so we can enjoy freedom..God bless America

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 2 months ago

If caught, I think a public stoning would be appropriate for those losers.

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

God Bless you Kane and your family. Thank you for your service to this country and for continuing in a lineage of great men and women who have fought to preserve our freedoms. Your community will keep you in our prayers and on our hearts.

It's the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 2 months ago

Again, mom is on top of the sacrafices our brave soldiers make for us everyday, God bless the brave men and women who serve to preserve the freedom we all enjoy, and protect us from the bums that want to do us in. Freedom is not free..................................... Oh, and God bless mom....

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candylane 6 years, 2 months ago

Mom, thank you for the invite, but as it is, they are having a family day at Fort Carsen, where Kane will deploy from. Our plans are to go down, spend the day with him on the base and attend church on Sunday with him. He will fly out of Ft Carsen on Thursday the 22, at 3:20 pm.

Please express our appreciation to those that are honoring our Armed Forces with the luncheon. We do appreciate all that hold them as dear as the mothers, spouses, siblings and loved ones do.

I will tell my husband about your invitation, he to is a vet, as were both of our fathers. I am sure your kind words will deeply touch both of my men's hearts.

Thank you again, Candy Johnson

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424now 6 years, 2 months ago

To Kane,

From an Old Soldier,

Keep your head down and your spirits up. God Bless you. Good luck and God Speed.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 2 months ago

A cash reward should be offered for information leading to the arrest of these idiots.

If an account is set up I'll personally contribute the first $50.00. A few hundred bucks and the teens of Oak Creek will talk. Heck $50 might be enough to flush them out.

I encourage the Steamboat Pilot not to forget about this story.

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candylane 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you mom.

When I told Kane about the flag, his comment was " What an American! I fight for his freedom!" My thoughts were (before I found out others had been taken) if they needed a flag, I would be glad to buy them one, just return the one they took.

For those of you who have Kane in your thoughts, continue to keep him in your prayers as he starts this new leg of his life's journey. He is looking forward to the adventure!

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

Dear Candy - you are welcome. This type of vandalism just makes me sick. I sure hope it's thoughtless children instead of an adult who wishes to make a political statement. There are so many kids who just don't realize how lucky they are to be Americans. A summer in some distant poor third world country would wake them up. Too bad it's not a mandatory requirement for graduation. I think many would come back better for the experience and more appreciative of what they do have.

There were flag burnings recently in Berkley, CA. A soldier wrote of his distress and asked, "If you burn the flag of the land that gave you birth, little girl, the flag of the community that shelters you, your neighbors' flag, the flag of those sworn to defend your rights at the cost of their own lives, the flag that generations of your predecessors lived under in individual freedom and common hope against all of mankind's wretched historical precedents - what then will you raise in its place?"

It's only fitting to ask those responsible for this wave of desecration ....what will YOU raise in its place?

And I suspect the thefts were carried out in the blanket of darkness. Pathetic people don't even have the courage to express their opinions or dissatisfaction in the light of day where we can see their faces.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 2 months ago

80488mom, I think that flag would be black with a red pentagram on it! It is a shameful act.

I send best wishes to Kane and wish "ALL" my fellow (vet) brothers in arms (Army, Navy, AirForce, Marines) well wishes this Saturday! Oooh-rah! Semper-Fi! Salute! Let's get these bums!

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

MntWarlock - I bet we never know who they are and I would also bet the parents who raised a child who would do such a thing will be making excuses and begging for leniency for their little darling. You can just throw accountability out the window.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 2 months ago

80488mom, Your right, they're cowards...no balls! Nuff said!

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bandmama 6 years, 2 months ago

you know, what a crappy thing to do. Its hard enough to have to send your child off, without this sort if disrespect.

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dundalk 6 years, 2 months ago

sort of reminds me of the peace-loving (ha ha) rainbowers who had the audacity to hang our precious flag upside, outside one of their disgusting peace hippie hangouts a few summers ago.

thank you to all the vets and active service members who dedicate their lives to our freedoms.

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chriswelch 6 years, 2 months ago

Kane,

Thank you very much for what you are doing and everything you wil do for us in the future. This story has reminded me of a quote by Teddy Roosevelt, it has helped me through many hard times in my life. Hopefully it makes it to to you.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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424now 6 years, 2 months ago

Here is great Colorado Flag and kid story. We are a state with honorable kids raised by honest caring parents.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/may/15/student-stands-old-glory/?partner=yahoo_headlines

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stmbtgrl20 6 years, 2 months ago

Seriously, what is wrong with our society? Why can't people teach their kids respect, but showing it to others?

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424now 6 years, 2 months ago

Stmbtgrl20

It starts at home and radiates out from there. Have faith in your fellow man but teach the sposedtas when you can.

As in we are sposedtas

Respect our neighbor's property

Stand behind our statements

and speak out about abhorrent behavior.

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 2 months ago

OK, so after the public stoning and caning, these scoundrels should be drafted into the military and put on flag detail for their entire enlistment. Just the getting up to be at the flagpole at 0600 would be punishment enough!

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

On The Bus Gus - I thought of something similar....having them put the flags on the graves of fallen soldiers on Memorial Day but then I thought are those the kind of people we would want for that honorable task? As far as serving in the military......would you want one of them watching your son's back?

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 2 months ago

80488 mom, I was in the military and there are people who you can't count on . You can't give them a weapon, they might accidentally shoot you! They are often given lame jobs like painting rocks, area beautification (trash pick up, raking) and dishwashing. Of course now the military civilian contracts most of those but anyone who was in the military can remember those lame individuals who couldn't be counted on and the menial jobs they were given as a result.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 2 months ago

I am glad to see this still up, you are all great Americans, reading this thread does not make up for those bone head antics, but it helps...... God bless our troops, God bless America, and God bless you all......

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

16 years ago a little boy cried and his tears came from the depths of his soul. He said, "no one will love me if I fly and I was born to fly." Yesterday I was handed a Blue Star Banner by members of the American Legion and my heart welled with pride and gratitude. On the way home I cried. The tears continued when I woke up and saw the banner hanging in our window placed there by my husband.

My son volunteered to spend his summer in the middle east. His friends asked him why volunteer when he would be spending plenty of time there later. Before being a son, before being a friend he's a patriot.

The dream has come full circle. After graduation next year he is going to flight school. He will fly......and the fears of a little 5 year old that no one would love him have long since vanished. Not only do I love him but I'm proud and I'm grateful for the men and women of this community who support the troops and support their local sons and daughters.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 2 months ago

This little boy is a man now, and going to be a terrific pilot, I can not express enough gratitude for him and the others who make this country what it is today, great and free.......... thank you mom, he has good bones, God bless always........

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80488mom 6 years, 2 months ago

Condo Guy - thank you! So very much appreciated.

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