Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson had 30 officers working the Fourth of July celebration, and he remembers last seeing the enormous 30-foot-by-40-foot flag about 9:30 p.m.
"I can't imagine that someone could have taken down that huge flag during the celebration without someone seeing it or reporting it," Nelson said Tuesday. "It must have happened sometime after midnight because no one really noticed it gone until the next morning when they reported it to us."
Fortunately the Rogersville Parks Department has an extra flag. When the department takes down one flag to be cleaned, it puts up the other flag.
What makes this case even more baffling is how difficult it would have been to steal the flag. Years ago another flag was stolen, so the Parks Department put the handle that the flag rope is tied to about 10 feet off the ground to prevent a future theft.
"You couldn't even reach it if you were sitting on someone's shoulders, so they had to have brought a ladder to reach it," Nelson said. "I'm wondering why someone would steal it. It's as big as a house."
The flag is valued at $500. Anyone with information about the missing flag is asked to call the Rogersville Police Department at 272-7555.