Vandals try but fail to take down first-responders flag

Posted 7/23/20

A few hours before a controversial “first-responders flag” was scheduled to come down from an Independence Park flagpole, two vandals attempted to take it down themselves.

Shortly …

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Vandals try but fail to take down first-responders flag

Posted

A few hours before a controversial “first-responders flag” was scheduled to come down from an Independence Park flagpole, two vandals attempted to take it down themselves.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Friday, July 17 — exactly two weeks after a group known as Bristol County Concerned Citizens raised the flag with permission of the Bristol Town Council — a worker from the town public works department drove to Independence Park to take it down. It had been authorized by the council to fly for two weeks.

The DPW worker first discovered that the first-responder flag and the American flag on the center pole were hanging several feet lower than they should have been, and he then found that the knot holding them on the pole had been tampered with. Once the flag was removed and secured, he reported it to police.

After reviewing security video, Bristol Police found that at approximately 1:15 a.m., earlier that day, two unidentified people, possibly a male and a female, walked north on the east side of Thames Street, crossed into Independence Park, then walked around the perimeter of the park and stopped in front of the center flag pole.

One of them then proceeded to climb the pole and lower the flags. It appeared that they attempted to remove the first-responder flag but were unsuccessful. The person then returned the flags to the top of the pole, and they ignited several fireworks. They then lingered in the area for a few more minutes before walking out of camera range.

Police do not know their identities. The flag and the pole sustained no damages. The official police report of the incident also notes that as the flags were being lowered by the unknown party, two additional unknown individuals were standing in the general area. It is not known if they had any involvement with the incident.

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