This year, for the first time, the Village of Piney Point put up 60 flags along the parade route, in preparation for Independence Day. Before the sun rose, 25 of the flags had been vandalized.
Two are reported missing, the rest of the damage involved bent poles, and broken or bent brackets where the flags had been attached to utility poles.
"What were you thinking?" is the question Piney Point City Administrator, Roger Nelson said he would ask of the vandals. "What made you think this was fun?"
A couple on their regular pre-dawn walk this morning saw the flags, some of which had fallen on the ground, according to police. On others, the short plastic poles were bent, and leaning to one side.
The couple did what they could do in the dark to upright the flags. They also called police. City workers also worked to repair the damage.
Memorial Villages Police Chief Ray Schultz is counting on the surveillance cameras homeowners have attached to their upscale homes.
"Maybe someone in front of their houses or on the sidewalks, that captures the vandals in the act," Schultz said.
The parade will go on, against a fluttering backdrop of American flags, as intended. But the police chief hopes the vandals are identified by then.
"They can be our guests for the 4th of July," he said. "The jail will be serving corn dogs that day, and we can serve them in their cell."
The charge will be criminal mischief.
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