- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2016

An elderly Michigan man was left in tears this week when a city worker confiscated American flags he arranges outside his business each year for Memorial Day.

Ken Dabelstein, 73, of Ken’s Country Produce in Westland said he was stunned when a woman took two-dozen American flags he displays to honor fallen U.S. servicemembers. The unidentified city employee threw them in her truck and sped off before Mr. Dabelstein could stop her.

“She pulled the flags out and wouldn’t give me her card,” Mr. Dabelsteintold a local Fox affiliate on Thursday as tears ran down his cheeks. “She pulled the flags out, customers tried to grab them out of her hand. She wouldn’t give it to them. She took the flags and literally threw them in the back of her truck. I came running out here to get the flags but I’m handicapped…. We’re an all-American city.”

Mr. Dabelstein, who has displayed American flags for over three decades, notified customers that they were taken and deemed “signage.” He then posted his story on Facebook. Ensuing media attention and local anger soon caught the attention of Westland City Council member Kevin Coleman and Mayor William R. Wild.

“What it sounds like to me is that it was probably a misunderstanding,” Mr. Coleman told the station. “Some of these things that seem like common sense can get overlooked. On behalf of the city council I want to apologize to Ken here.”

The mayor posted on Mr. Dabelstein’s Facebook page and said he would try to find the flags and have them returned. When the flags could not be found, a stranger supplied replacements.

“Thank you to the patriot in the blue ford [sic],” the businessman posted on Facebook Friday morning.

Mr. Dabelstein said he will also display American flags on the 4th of July.

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