KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Kettering police responded to the 4800 block of Glenmina Drive to several residences, where at least five flags had been burned.
Police believe the crime took place shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night; Thursday morning residents started calling in to report their findings.
Despite it being legal to burn flags, officials warn there are parameters to that right.
“What they did is illegal. It’s an arson because that was not their property. So they did not have the right to do it,” said Lt. Craig A. Moore with Kettering Police Department.
One resident 2NEWS spoke with says its a tradition to observes several holidays, including the Fourth of July, with flags.
The Dor-Wood Optimist Club organizes the “Avenue of Flags” in various neighborhoods where residents pay for the patriotic display.
“You know it’s sad. It’s Fourth of July. You put your flags up to celebrate and you wake up and someone does this. Can’t imagine what the reasoning behind this was,” said John Collins, who found shreds of the burned flags throughout his yard.
The former firefighter says prank or not, these acts are disrespectful and also dangerous.
“It’s either vandalism or, you know, it’s just the desecration of our flag and you know, for whatever reason they did it. You know, it’s wrong in every way. It’s– here we are at the holiday weekend trying to do the right thing, be patriotic, and someone decides to burn the flag. A lot of people fought to protect this flag and now people think they can go burn it,” said Collins.
Officials say the club has lost more than $100 in damage done to these flags.