Dozens of American flags vandalized at Veterans Flag Concourse in Salisbury

Vandalism has occurred four times since Friday
On Tuesday there were more than 45 flags damaged or defaced at the concourse.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 11:01 AM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - On Tuesday morning, more than 45 small American flags were seen strewn across the ground, many with broken posts and soiled with mud, at the Patriots Flag Concourse and Memorial next to the City Park in Salisbury.

“This is a way we felt like we could honor our veterans on Memorial Day, those who made the greatest sacrifice and someone has vandalized our flags,” said Vietnam veteran Ronnie Smith. “I’ll never understand why anybody would want to do that.”

Smith, one of the driving forces behind the creation of the concourse, said this was the fourth time in the last four days that the flags have been pulled from the ground and damaged.

Salisbury Police are actively investigating the case.

“It’s unfortunate that the suspect(s) demonstrated little respect for our fallen servicemen and women by disturbing the American flag display in the park’s flag concourse area,” Lt. Justin Crews said.

Anyone with information Lt. Crews at (704) 216-7545.

The flags, nearly 1000 total, had been placed in the park by veterans and Boy Scouts on Armed Forces Day, May 20.

Veterans advocate Smith said the vandalism was first discovered on Friday, May 26.

“I noticed that approximately 20 flags had been removed, defaced, or damaged and scattered all over the park and near the creek at the rear of the concourse,” Smith said.

“On the following Saturday afternoon, I returned to the park and found another approximately 50 American flags had been removed, defaced, or damaged and scattered over the park,” Smith added. “I just felt so bad. It was so hurtful to me personally, and the scouts and the veterans that put those flags up.”

On Sunday, Smith said when he returned to the park there were approximately 100 damaged flags found.

After each discovery, Smith said the damaged flags were removed and others placed back in the ground along the concourse.

“I left the flag display in good condition and removed the damaged flags,” Smith said.

On Tuesday morning Smith said he was not aware of the latest incident involving 45 flags, but would be looking into it.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salisbury Police at 704-638-5340.