A vandal has apparently cut out a portion of the C Hill flag.
"Oh, cripes. That's all we need," said Gil Ayarbe, 75, before he climbed the hill Monday afternoon to take a look at the damage reported by hiker Rex Reed this weekend.
Ayarbe and friend Dan Mooney came up with the idea for a giant flag following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as they walked along the foot of C Hill.
The two men, joined by Josh Buscay and numerous volunteers, brought to life the 120-foot by 67-foot vinyl rendition of Old Glory which was unveiled Oct. 21.
Calling from atop C Hill by cell phone Monday, Ayarbe said it appeared someone used a knife to saw through the bottom left star, leaving only the top point.
"It's sort of a triangle cut out about 30 inches. I think it was cut with a pretty dull knife. That's some tough material. It's obvious it was cut and not torn. But we can repair it," he said.
He said it was apparent whoever took the piece walked all over the flag in the process.
Because of the flag's location on the rocky hill, repair costs can become steep. Mooney estimates the damage could cost $800 to repair.
Ayarbe was saddened to find the damage, but reserved comment for the culprit.
"I would like to let the town say something to the person who did that. Let them write in to say something about it," he said. "This is not our flag. This is everybody's flag. This belongs to all good Americans. All the people who are patriotic and feel good about the flag."
To atone for their sin, Ayarbe suggested whoever cut out the portion might volunteer to help with flag maintenance.
"What I am saying is this, this is a flag for everybody in the town, for every American in this country all the way to New York and back," he said. "The more people that get involved with this flag, the less chance for vandalism. We've all inherited the flag."