PRINEVILLE, OR -- Several flags have been stolen from the display along downtown Prineville streets. More than 430 flag poles line Main, Third and Fourth streets during certain holiday periods. Five have disappeared since they were put out for Independence Day; most recently, a flag was taken Saturday from in front of a coffee shop on Third Street.
"It's not like someone is just taking this random flag that we put up to celebrate our patriotism and how much we love America," says Crook County Judge Seth Crawford, "Each individual flag has been flown over the nation's capitol and then, it's got a certificate to a specific person to honor them." He tells KBND News, "Each one of these flags represents a single person in our community or somebody that wants to put these flags up for someone they love or respect. And so, if you lose a single one, it's really, really, really horrible for that person."
Flags are 4'x6' with embroidering on the spine honoring a community member; they hang on 10' long poles. The display is maintained by the Prineville Band of Brothers, who puts the flags out each morning and collects them at dusk. Crawford says, "Just keep your eyes peeled. If you see somebody messing with the flags, tell them to quit it. If you're not part of that group, Band of Brothers, which really makes sure that this happens, hands off. Just leave them alone."