Vandals desecrate flag display in lead up to Memorial Day

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

SALISBURY — What was supposed to be a solemn memorial for America’s fallen soldiers turned into a reminder that not everyone respects the flag.

A police report was filed in reference to several American Flags that were damaged over the weekend.

One week in advance of the Memorial Day ceremonies held around Salisbury, local boy scout troops and other volunteers, including many veterans, placed more than 1,000 American flags around the Patriots Flag Concourse and Memorial at City Park.

In addition to Memorial Day, the gesture was intended to recognize Armed Forces Day on May 20.

Ronnie Smith, who helped orchestrate the displays at the City Park and other venues around Salisbury, visited the park each day in the week leading up to Memorial Day. He was shocked when he went out on Friday to see that approximately 20 flags had been removed or defaced at the concourse.

The following afternoon and after his efforts to clean up the mess, Smith returned to City Park, only to find that approximately 50 flags had been “removed, defaced or damaged and scattered over the park.”

Unfortunately, the desecration was still not over. Smith went to the park on Sunday around 7 p.m. Despite the rainfall, Smith noticed that even more flags had been damaged.

“I did my best to collect the damaged flags and placed them inside the gazebo or near the monuments,” Smith said. “I immediately returned home and called the Salisbury Police Department to report the vandalism.”

The Salisbury Police Department took a report.

Reports indicated that there was no video surveillance to review, leaving them with no suspects or people of interest.

Smith estimated that the cost of the damaged flags was at least $300.

A local veterans organization has reportedly offered a reward for information leading to the responsible persons. Anyone with information related to the vandalism is encouraged to contact the Salisbury Police Department.