Since my story ran today about WWII veteran Carl Harstine’s flags being stolen – twice – I have probably received at least seven e-mails and phone calls from people eager to replace the lost flags. And that was probably in my first hour of work today.
Pretty soon, Carl may have more flags than he knows what to do with.
As for the story, it has some people really fired up, including one person’s comment that flag thieves should get a 10-year prison sentence.
While the justice system usually bases the severity of a theft on its monetary value (flags about $40 each, poles about $60 in this circumstance) it is unlikely the perpetrators would face much more than your basic burglary charges.
But the “feeling” that something more has been stolen stems from our intrinsic sentiment that adds emotional value to the American Flag.
Where does that value come from? What does the flag mean to you? Can you trace those feelings to a specific moment, meaning, person or ideal? Tell me about it in the comments below or via twitter @dgtedford.
Also, don’t forget about another veterans related story in the Tribune today about a financial firm offering a special consulting program.