A precedent exists for punishing the vandals who messed with the C Hill flag just before it was completed in its new and glorious form last week.
If you'll recall, nearly three years ago a teenager took a rock to the flag. He was sentenced in Carson City Justice Court to a $250 fine, $50 restitution and 80 hours of community service.
Oh, yes. He also apologized to the community.
We had hoped that incident served as a warning. We also had hoped that another vandal, who actually did worse damage about the same time, would come forward with his own apology and face the consequences. He never did.
Now there's another opportunity for someone to confess to what they probably thought was some harmless prank in throwing some of the flag's Alumilite panels down the hill and trying to rearrange others.
We don't know if they will apologize, but we think they ought to know exactly what they're risking with their childish antics.
The C Hill flag, like nothing since the C itself overlooking the heart of Carson City, has become a symbol of the community. It took a great deal of sweat and back-bending labor to get it there, not to mention the hours spent planning and raising money.
This is a symbol in memory of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It is a symbol of the patriotism that emerged in the days following those attacks. It is a symbol of the struggle in Afghanistan and Iraq - where American men and women are dying almost every day.
Messing with the C Hill flag could well be interpreted as unAmerican, unpatriotic and a disgrace to the country's armed forces. In short, the sort of thing a red-blooded Carson City resident might kick your ass over.
That would be wrong, of course. So it would be better for everybody involved if the culprits simply came forward, apologized and took their legal lumps.