Locals Furious After Town Removes US Flag Memorial (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs

A community in Washington was outraged after workers removed a years-old veterans memorial due to a single complaint about it -- so they took matters into their own hands and put up a new one on July 27.

The display consisted of a number of U.S. and POW flags on the side of the road in Preston, King County, Washington, notes KOMO.

"One person says they don't like it, and they take it down," area man Robert Cunningham told KOMO. "I don't understand. We live in the United States of America. This is our flag. Why is it offensive?"

The memorial did not have proper authorization to remain there, which is part of the reason why the flags were removed, said the crew that took them down. But that didn't sit well with residents, who "were really, really upset about this," according to one neighbor.

Residents went ahead and put the flags back up, but there's no guarantee officials won't remove them again.

"Signage and displays can create a visual distraction that may cause drivers to look away from the roadway," said county officials.

While it would like to find a compromise to keep the memorial, the county also said that it cannot allow one unauthorized display to stay up, no matter what is in it, because it would create a slippery slope and reduce its authority to remove others.

But the people of Preston are not about to give up. They are busy on social media, and one person created a Facebook page called "Put The American Flag Back Up In Preston" that has more than 1,100 likes only four days after the memorial was removed.

"I am beyond p***ed that someone would be so disrespectful to the lives lost for their freedom!" one person wrote on the page. "This is outrageous and the fact that king county is letting this happen is even worse that the state government is having to take down flags that show our freedom. What is happening to our country. I've seen this flag my whole childhood living in the valley and it is just so crazy."

One commenter on the page said at least 7,000 people had phoned the county to complain about removing the flag, as of July 30.

"This is down the hill from our house," another person wrote. "Been looking at this for years. It was a banner that was red, white, and blue that said 'Peace. Liberty. Justice.' flanked by US Flags. UnAmerican to be removed, and by the county no less."

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