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.
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
Steamboat Springs 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.