‘Critters’ Blamed For Missing U.S. Flags
NEENAH, Wis. (AP)—Caretakers of the Oak Hill Cemetery noticed around Memorial Day that about 25 U.S. flags were missing from the graves of military veterans. But the haphazard pattern of theft and the fact that the wooden dowels remained intact led them to only one theory in the week since - the thieves aren’t human.
“It’s a pretty solid conclusion that critters are stealing our flags,” said cemetery foreman Mark Alberts.
Apparently, it’s been a problem all around the state. Squirrels took flags in Oshkosh and used them to line their nests a few years ago, and a groundskeeper at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire discovered dozens of missing flags in a squirrel’s nest in 2006.
Alberts also said when crews cut down old trees in the cemetery, they typically find flag remnants in the hollows.
“We find a lot of flags all shredded up in there,” Alberts said Tuesday. “They use them for bedding.”
But Alberts hasn’t caught any capers yet, only witnessing blackbirds trying to fly away with pieces of the flags.