Whoever stole the flag from Bob Reid’s bike should be ashamed of him or herself. The act committed was uncalled for and should make the perpetrator shameful.

By Gus Bode

Reid has been the flag master for SIUC for nine years. Every morning he raises the American flag and returns at night to take it down. Doing so not only for SIU, but also for the love of his country.

Sadly, one Sunday evening after eating dinner at Quatro’s Reid discovered one of his flags missing. Who would do something so ignorant? Stealing an American flag is a felony and can get the perpetrator some real jail time if caught.

Fortunately for whoever is responsible for this act, Reid asked that the flag be returned with no questions asked, but who ever took it should want to explain what was on his or her mind when the decision was made to take the flag.

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What have we been reduced to? Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, flags have been seen flying on just about anything imaginable. Store shelves were empty no sooner than the stores opened. Everyone wanted to show their patriotism and how much they loved the country.

But has it gotten so bad that we have to start stealing flags to show our love for the country? This has to stop. It does not make you any more of an American to have a flag and in fact, it makes you less of an American when you steal a flag.

Reid does his job with the utmost respect for the University and his country and for someone to steal the very thing he prides in his life is ridiculous. When did it become unsafe to leave your bike in plain view and still run the risk of having something in it stolen?

Having a flag in your possession does not prove you are American and if that is why it was stolen, then the individuals responsible only proved the opposite. If it is was important to own a flag, but it was unaffordable, if asked, a collection could have been taken up to purchase a new one.

Wal-Mart is only a short trip from any location in Carbondale and it still sells flags for those who want to display it from their home, car, office window or even on their clothes.

There is only one word to describe the perpetrator:disgusting. No matter what reason is given for committing the crime, it does not excuse the fact that the act was disrespectful to everything the flag and Reid stands for.

The responsible party should feel ashamed of themselves in knowing what was done was unacceptable and any true American would never have violated the flag in that manner. Stealing a flag is just as bad as destroying it because it has been stripped of its purity. It no longer symbolizes America, but instead it becomes a piece of material that is seen as a trophy by the person who decided to steal it.

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Reid continues to do his job day in and day out raising and lowering the University’s flags. Hopefully he will not have to watch over his shoulder while doing his job, worrying if someone will take his flags while he is working.

Whoever is responsible should return the flag and show some remorse to prove there is a little decency left in them.

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