MARIETTA, Ga. - There are 1,600 U.S. Flags flying high around Marietta. They're part of an annual project through the Marietta Kiwanis Club. The club has been putting up the flags since 1997. The ones that can be seen all around the square and the rest of the city were put up for Labor Day and will stay up through Sept/ 11. But just days after the flags went up, some were knocked over and defaced.
Alice Summerour says she was on Roswell Street when she noticed some of the flags on the ground. At first, she thought it was a strong wind, but on closer inspection, she says the poles were deliberately bent. One of the flags had writing on it in paint or black marker.
"That really hurt my heart that someone would disrespect the flag and leave it on the ground," Summerour said.
"I think it's horrible. I think people in the US have lost a lot of their patriotism and I think that's terrible," said Loren Vogle who recently moved to Marietta.
Tony Whitehead was in the square taking pictures. Whitehead, a Vietnam veteran, says people should be putting up flags, not tearing them down.
"It's a shame that people live in this country and start knocking down flags," said Whitehead.
Summerour says this won't stop the Kiwanis Club flag project, she just wishes people had more respect.
"I hate that someone has issues with our country to the extent they would disrespect our flag like they did," said Summerour.
Over the years, the Marietta Kiwanis Club flag project has raised more than $200,000 for scholarships for local children.