American flag vandalized in Laclede County, reward offered for info leading to arrest

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LEBANON, Mo.– A large American flag, hanging over the Laclede County Courthouse, now has holes in it. Authorities suspect vandalism, a theory supported by a white graffiti cross next to the now-damaged flag.

“We see it happening maybe across our nation,” Laclede County Presiding Commissioner Randy Angst says. “But certainly here in Laclede County, it’s something we would never expect.”

When describing those responsible, Laclede County’s Office of Emergency Management used the word “cowards”.

$500.00 reward for the arrest and conviction of the coward who committed this criminal damage to OLD GLORY.

Posted by Laclede County Office of Emergency Management on Monday, July 8, 2019

Other Facebook posts inform Ozarks First the graffiti has now been removed.

The flag now has to be replaced after 12 years of being a Lebanon attraction. Replacing the flag will cost around $5,000.

In traveling to Lebanon on Tuesday, reporters learned donations are being made.

Administrator Melinda Fries says she expects her team to make well over their $5,000 goal. “We have local businesses who have already pledged $2,000 in one day, We’re very blessed and excited about the support that this is getting.”

The money donated is going toward the flag and the reward offered to anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Comments on the OEM’s Facebook post suggest perhaps that money will be used to repair the flag.

The old flag is being held in the Lebanon Police Department. Angst’s team discussed what will happen with the old flag once this case is over. “The evidence could be released back to the commission, the flag, and then we would probably approach perhaps like the american legion and have some type of official ceremony,”

Angst says Laclede County expects to have a new American flag within the next month.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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