Dozens of flags not properly disposed of; piled in muddy grass

Dozens of American flags are lying on the muddy, watery ground in Monroe Township. (Photo/Bryant Somerville)

MONROE Twp. - Dozens of American flags are lying on the muddy, watery ground in Monroe Township in Licking County.

The flags are piled on the ground in the back of Green Hill Cemetery.

According to Township Trustee Joseph Robertson, the flags were taken off of gravesites as part of the fall cleanup. However, they were supposed to be disposed of properly.

Robertson says the groundskeeper was in talks with the local American Legion to determine if there would be a ceremonial disposal but says the American Legion claimed to be too busy and, instead, instructed the groundskeeper to administer a proper disposal.

Robertson says it's wrong how the flags were kept in the meantime and assures 10TV they will be properly disposed of and immediately.

“Victoria Dutcher says it was her brother who saw 10TV’s tweet.

“He told me about it and I looked and I said ‘Get dressed, let’s go’,” she said.

For Dutcher, Monroe Township and Green Hill Cemetery are home.

“My final resting place is here,” she said. “My parents are here. This is my town.”

She couldn’t believe when she saw all the American flags piled on the ground.

“I’m a retired federal employee and this just blew my doors off,” she said.

Bruce Tolle was another helper. He’s an Air Force veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 254.

“I’m sure this was not done with any kind of disrespect intended,” he said. “It’s just lack of knowledge.”

Dutcher says it’s upsetting and that even though there might have been miscommunication, it’s no excuse to throw American flags on the ground.

“I would say that there’s a lot of truth to that,” she said. “The problem is…it’s ignorance.”

It took about 20 minutes for six people to pick up the flags.

Monroe Township Trustee Troy Hendren says once the flags are dried, they will be properly disposed.