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Community responds when thugs burn elderly woman’s U.S. flags

Just days before Independence Day, a Maryville, Tenn., woman experienced two disturbing property crimes. In both instances, reports show an American flag displayed in front of her home was burned.

Local authorities are asking for help from the community as they look for those responsible. In the meantime, others are doing what they can to help make things right for their elderly neighbor.

DeWayne K. Phillips said he has no idea who would target his mother.

“Why her flag,” he wondered. “I don’t understand why. It’s a 79-year-old woman. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

He made it clear, though, that the vandals will not deter her from displaying the flag. Several locals, including members of the American Legion and the city’s police department, aided in that goal by replacing the flags she lost.

Charlie Walton of local American Legion Post 13 explained the community stepped up “to show that we can’t let that happen around here or anywhere.”

The post has plans to erect a flag pole in front of the woman’s home in the near future. Members also have several flags on reserve in case the irreverent arsonists strike again.

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