- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A least seven American flags have been burned throughout the Texas city of Weatherford, and authorities think the vandals responsible are trying to send a message.

“We just drove up an hour ago and the fire was in the middle of the driveway,” resident Rowlee Johnson told a local CBS affiliate. “We had no idea what had happened.”

A group or individual has been burning the flags outside of people’s homes in Weatherford. At least seven have been burned since Friday in at least two different neighborhoods.

“This one we just discovered within the hour,” Fire Marshal Bob Hopkins said Monday evening of Ms. Johnson’s charred flag that was left in her driveway.

At another home, someone lowered a flag and let it burn on the flagpole, the station reported.

“We had one woman whose two sons are serving in Afghanistan,” Mr. Hopkins said. “She was very upset because that flag for a lot of people resembles their pride in their nation, their home, everything they believe in.”

The mother replaced her flag, as did the other victims, Mr. Hopkins said.

“With this many [burnings] and the way they’re laying out the flags and burning them, it seems like they’re trying to make a statement,” said Capt. Greg Lance with the Weatherford Police Department.

Parker County Crime Stoppers are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, the CBS affiliate reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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