UPDATED 12:45 PM PT – Friday, January 22, 2021
The American symbol of freedom and hope is torn down from its perch over an Arkansas highway.
According to the Hot Springs Police Department on Thursday, the 40-by-80-foot American flag that flies high above the ‘270 bypass’ was stolen under the cover of night. The flag was installed in front of ‘Alliance Rubber Company‘ back in September of 2015. It flew 130 feet in the air.
Employees of the manufacturer said the suspects not only stole the flag, but they vandalized the property.
Alliance Rubber Co. reported that their large 80’x40′ American flag was stolen.
Alliance is offering a $2,000 reward for the return of the flag or any info. leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the incident.
Contact the HSPD with any info. pic.twitter.com/qVM3dNJAsW
— Hot Springs PD (AR) (@HotSpringsPD) January 21, 2021
“Looks to me like they might have parked on the side of the bypass, they cut our fence,” Trevor Hamilton, Alliance Rubber Company employee, said. “They come in [and] they did bust out the two halogen lights we have that illuminate the flag.”
Commuters on their morning drive noticed the massive flag’s disappearance. Community members are in shock and demand the return of the star-spangled banner.
“We are American made manufacturing here – it means so much to us to show that,” Hamilton added. “With everything going on in the world right now, it means a lot, it really does. It’s a symbol we all need to stand behind.”
Police are actively looking into the motive and searching for suspects, but officials are unsure if the crime is tied to the ongoing national unrest.
“This is a very new investigation so we don’t have any information to connect to it,” stated Cpl. Patrick Langley of the Hot Springs Police Department. “But obviously we will take a look at all leads and possibilities to get it resolved.”
The ‘Alliance Rubber Company’ estimated it will cost upwards of $10,000 to repair the damage and replace the flag. They are offering a $2,000 reward for the return of the flag and other local businesses are stepping up to match the reward money.
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