A veteran’s daughter from Georgia vowed to display American flags outside her home, even after they were stolen nine times.
“Dad was a World War II Marine. They’re not going to crush my spirit,” Pam Cunningham Averso told Fox 5 Atlanta.
Averso said she is tired of thieves stealing the American flag and “Blue Lives Matter” flags placed at the end of her driveway.
“It’s heartbreaking that anybody would want to do something bad to the American flag,” she said.
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Averso said she puts the flags out to honor of her late father, a WWII Master Sergeant, and the nation’s first responders.
Deputies in Forsyth County are investigating the situation, and have also added patrols near her home on top of Sawnee Mountain to prevent future thefts of the display.
Averso said she suspects that the thieves are the same people who leave trash at the historic home her uncle designed next door and broke her fence.
“Please– leave them here for everybody to come up here and enjoy,” she said, hoping the culprits will get the message.
“I would give them an American flag if they promised to take care of it,” she added.
She plans to place the flags in an area where the thieves cannot access them and install security cameras by the display.
She also said she is asking parents in the neighborhood to look for flags that appear out-of-the-blue in the hopes that someone will find the flags and return them.
There are consequences for stealing an American flag. In May 2016, a Virginia man was found guilty of stealing an American flag from his neighbor’s property. A judge ordered him to pay a $100 fine, all court costs, and maintain good behavior for two years.
However, some states are looking to make the penalties for stealing an American flag more severe.
In Arizona, one lawmaker introduced a bill that would make it a felony to steal an American flag. His bill passed the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee.