| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Connellsville police looking for flag burner

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Sunday, July 8, 2012, 8:02 p.m.

Connellsville police want to know who set fire to an American flag put out in front of a South Pittsburgh Street church for the July 4th holiday.

Sometime between 10:30 a.m. July 1 and 8:30 a.m. July 2, someone set fire to one of the American flags that New Haven Hose Company put out in front of Wesley United Methodist Church.

"My secretary and I were pretty upset by it," said the Rev. David Ealy, pastor at Wesley UMC, who noticed the metal pole and a flag bearing singe marks on July 2.

The flag was one of more than 200 put up by New Haven members along the streets of Connellsville for patriotic holidays -- Memorial Day in May, Independence Day in July and Veterans Day in November. The flags also fly on election days.

The flags are put up by the fire department's flag committee, of which Connellsville Mayor Charles Matthews is a member.Matthews said flags have been stolen previously. He recalled an incident in which someone threw a flag into the Youghiogheny River. The incident this week, though, is the first time that a flag has been burned.

"It's kind of really shocking to me," Matthews said, adding that the department has extra flags and poles if replacement are necessary.

Ealy said the department replaced the flag in front of Wesley UMC in time for the Independence Day observance.Matthews said each flag with the pole can cost $20 to $25.

Ealy said the flag-burning took him by surprise. He believes that area of South Pittsburgh Street has had a few incidents of vandalism.

World War II veteran and Wesley UMC member John "Wally" Schroyer said he is especially shocked.

"It's disgraceful," he said. "This is the first time in my memory someone burned a flag in public in Connellsville," he said.

Schroyer said the only acceptable way to burn a flag is during a retirement ceremony.

"I don't know what we're coming to. They should be arrested and fined," he said. "I fought for the flag in World War II. It's a shame to me someone burned it when they were out looking for something to do."

Connellsville police Detective Kenneth Jaynes said the department has no suspects. Anyone who has information should call 724-628-2501.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Man reports being hit by bullet in Highland Park
  2. Woman dies after bleeding on sidewalk outside Carrick pizzeria
  3. Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
  4. Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
  5. CBS’ ‘Code Black’ inspired by Pitt medical school graduate’s documentary
  6. Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
  7. Fayette County Courthouse setting for ‘Magic and Mistletoe’
  8. Center at Penn State Fayette puts students on path to success
  9. Dinner-show to kick off holiday season at Albert Gallatin
  10. Holiday movie gives Cal U students get 2 seconds of fame
  11. Mon Valley Leathernecks tackle Toys for Tots drive