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Flags go missing throughout Newberg

Theft — With seemingly increasing frequency, VFW asks community to be aware of issue


They aren’t expensive, but whenever a Veterans of Foreign Wars American flag is stolen, Wayne Miller said it’s bothersome.

“We can buy flags all day long, but it’s the principal,” the commander of the Newberg post said. “Why would people steal something that Americans fought for? That’s the reason we’ve got a free country and that’s what we do. It’s all about the flag.”

The VFW offers a flag service to Newberg businesses, where for $30 a year they will erect a flag at the location on each of the 15 holidays relating to veterans.

“We put out over 250 flags for the 15 holidays,” he said.

Most recently, four flags were stolen during the Old Fashioned Festival. They were left up after being put up to recognize the end of the Korean War July 27.

“Two or three months ago just one route lost four,” Miller said. “It’s getting to be worse it seems like.”

Sometimes the 3-foot by 5-foot flags are recovered, in an alley, in a ditch, in someone’s home.

“In the past one guy had a warrant or something. They arrested him and he had one of our flags at his house,” he said. “So that was a miracle finding that one.”

Charges aren’t filed for the missing flags, but Miller asks that the community be more aware of the problem.

“I think if people were more aware, if they see people doing something just note it,” he said. “Normally when we pick them up it’s going to be in the day time. It’s going to be in early afternoon or early evening or in the mornings. We’re not going to do it in the middle of the night.”

With six holidays remaining in the year for flag service, Miller said the VFW will continue to erect the flags, like they have for the past 60 years.

“These guys, 80 and 90 years old, are out there putting up flags,” he said. “That takes a lot inside a person to do something like that. Everyone has a lot of pride in their country. For somebody to start just doing crap like that, it’s not right.”

If flags are found, Miller said people should call the Newberg-Dundee Police Department or the VFW hall.



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