NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Twenty-four American flags were stolen from New London's waterfront. The flags were put up as part of the Connecticut Schooner Festival, which is set to sail into the city on Friday.
All of the flags, 146 of them, were put up along New London's Waterfront on August 26th. They're simply zip tied to the railing and apparently someone figured out they'd be easy to steal.
Now the question is who would do such a thing? Bruce MacDonald with CT Schooner Fest which put up the flags has his own thoughts on the thieves.
"Well the flags are a symbol and they're important because this waterfront is historic as you know," MacDonald said. "It's a despicable act. Anyone who would steal flags and throw some of them in garbage cans has got to have a screw loose."
Organizers are now collecting the poles left behind so they aren't taken as well.
"But the big point, the bottom line is the CT Schooner Festival is going to go on," MacDonald said.
CT Schooner Fest begins Wednesday in Mystic and then sails into New London on Friday. Most of the flags are still flying: a sign of patriotic pageantry for visitors to the city.
"I think it's amazing," said New London resident Jamie Weaver.
For the former soldier, the thefts are a sign of disrespect.
"When I see the flag it reminds me of my friends that have gone overseas right now," Weaver said. "So to know people would come up and blatantly take it, it's just disrespect for me, for my friends they don't even know."
The flags cost a total of $2,200, so there is a financial loss with the missing 24, but it's not enough to take the wind out of the festival, which hopes to become an annual event.
"We're going to have a great time with the schooners in port, historical pageants and music and other forms of entertainment on the waterfront," MacDonald said. "We're not going to let it deter us."
Police are investigating the thefts.
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