American Flag Burnings Spark Outrage in Winona

Updated: 08/15/2014 7:33 AM
Created: 08/14/2014 8:40 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

The American flag is under attack in Winona.

Danny Hauser has an eagle in his front yard, a grandson who was in the Army, and an American flag out front "to respect our country, for all our veterans and servicemen that are protecting our country," he said.

The problem is, someone lit the flag on fire.

"It makes me disgusted that they can't respect our flag," Hauser said.

Hauser's flag isn't the only one that's been burned. Winona police say 17 of them have been lit on fire in less than three weeks. That includes one at Scott Turner's house.

"Vulnerable, sick in our stomachs," he said. "I mean, why would you do something like that? Yeah, it's a bad feeling."

At a community meeting Thursday, authorities released an image of an unidentified man they're calling a "person of interest." They estimate he's in his late teens or early 20s and is between 5 foot 8 inches and 5 foot 10 inches.

Winona Police Chief Paul Bostrack also pointed out that this isn't just about the American flag, it's about public safety.

"I think it's despicable," he said. "Putting aside that it's the American flag, you have that flag attached to a residence. Some of those houses had people in them at the time, some were vacant if they were gone, but it's absolutely despicable."

If you have any information about the flag burnings, police ask that you call Winona County Crime Stoppers at 507-457-6530.

Photo: Winona Police Department

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