A replacement American flag is flying at the Virginia War Memorial, after the previous one was stolen Sunday morning.
The rope that attached the flag to the pole was cut between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Sunday, said a war memorial spokesperson. Since the flag itself is very large, investigators believe multiple people were involved.
Capitol police say they are looking through surveillance video, but say the camera on top of the building next to the war memorial was facing the other direction at the time of the crime. Virginia War Memorial staff says they want the thieves to be prosecuted, but more importantly, they want the American flag back.
In the meantime, a replacement flag is now flying. Iraq War veteran Nicholas McGraw brought a smaller flag, in hopes of replacing the one stolen early Sunday morning. Memorial staff already had a replacement flag, but asked McGraw to help them put it up.
"We have lost friends in combat and in training and it's just wrong, they did it for the flag for the country, and the flag represents their service," McGraw said.
While the pole stood bare, the Virginia flag had to be taken down as well. Memorial staff say it's because it cannot be flown without the American flag.
"We live in a land that gives you a lot of freedoms, but not the freedom to take from other people," said Jon Hatfield, executive director for the Virginia War Memorial.
If you have any information about this case, you're asked to call Capital Police at 786-2568.
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