Police looking for suspects after American flags burned - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police looking for suspects after American flags burned

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(WBIR) - Police in Maryville are investigating a series of vandalism cases after neighbors reported burned flags outside their home.

It’s not the show of patriotism DeWayne Phillips, who spent years in service, expected on his July 4th weekend.

He said his mother, 87-year-old Kathyleen Phillips, woke up Thursday morning to her American flag reduced to ashes.

"What really is disturbing is it was the American flag, and it hurts as a veteran," DeWayne said. "But it’s also my mother’s house! It could have caught her house on fire."

After the crime happened, Phillips reached out to supporters from American Legion Post 13, who sprang into action and donated a new flag. Then, on Saturday night, Phillips said someone burned down that flag as well.

"Two times in a row? My mother's never done anything to anybody! She's been here for 23 years," DeWayne said.

Maryville police are stepping up their security near South Rachaels Circle.

In the meantime, members of the American Legion Post 13 are also patrolling the area and planting as many flags in Kathyleen’s yard as they can fit.

“You see this stuff on the world news, but you never think it’s going to happen in your backyard,” said Post 13 member Charlie Wilson.

“To some kids, they may be funny,” DeWayne said. “But this is ridiculous.”

Police said someone also burned down a neighbor’s flag just around the corner on Fielding Drive. That flag was decorative and not an American flag.

Read more at WBIR's website.

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