Cotati’s long-awaited U.S. flag stolen
By JEREMY HAY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A United States flag that last year was hoisted on a downtown Cotati flagpole that had gone flag-less for two years has been stolen.
The halyard ropes that pull the flag up and down were cut in three places and the flag was gone Monday morning, said Rancho Adobe Fire officials.
Firefighters from the Rancho Adobe station across the street noticed the absence when just before 7 a.m. they went to raise their own flag.
“What a significantly disrespectful thing to do in the center of our community,” said Cotati Councilman Mark Landman. “And after all the work to get that in place and the community involvement, it’s doubly disappointing.”
The flag — or, rather, its long absence — was a point of contention about patriotism and priorities in Cotati, with some citizens criticizing the city for not acting quickly to put one on the 66-foot flagpole.
Greg Karraker, who lives just outside the city limits, became the chief critic in the matter, and he led a citizen campaign to raise funds for a new flag.
Eventually the city, community groups, private citizens and businesses joined the effort to get a flag in place last September.
“It could be someone stealing it for a prank, or it could be like someone ripping up newspapers or tearing up election signs, who knows,” Karraker said on Monday. “But I certainly hope they throw whatever they can at this person.”
Cotati Police Lt. Bill French said that police were looking into the matter but that no further information was available Monday afternoon.