Veterans replace stolen flag at Virginia War Memorial

Posted at 3:52 PM, Sep 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-29 15:52:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It’s hard to believe someone would steal Old Glory, a sacred national symbol, from atop a 60-foot flag pole. What’s even more baffling is that the flag was stolen from the Virginia War Memorial, a tribute to the men and women who have given everything for our freedom.

“I was appalled that someone would commit a despicable act like that,” said Virginia War Memorial’s Executive Director Jon Hatfield. ”I don’t know why they would’ve singled out our national flag which we as Virginians and American’s honor.”

Under the cover of darkness, staff at the war memorial said someone stole it early Sunday morning last weekend.

“I don’t know if it was a prank or whether they had decided this is something they wanted to do or an act against America,” said Hatfield.

But on Friday, Pharaohs Soul motorcycle club donated a new 10-foot by 15-foot flag to the museum.

“The club was all for it. So we just went on ahead and made it happen,” said the club’s Zack Hopkins.

Hopkins said the group was compelled to do something — to show their love for our nation’s veterans.

“Desecrating the flag for people who died for it — who gave the ultimate sacrifice. You don’t do that,” said Hopkins. ”I would think it would be kids because they don’t value the United States flag.”

Despite the fact the flag was pilfered, Hatfield said he is grateful the community came through.

“I have been proud as an American to see the outpouring from locally and around the State, as people felt the same way that I do,” said Hatfield.

Captain Ray Goodloe said Capitol Police are still looking at surveillance video from cameras posted around the Virginia War Memorial, but that they have no leads or suspects in this case.

If you have information that could help police, call 804-786-2120 or Crimestoppers at 780-1000. As always, you can remain anonymous.