HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Missing: One very large American flag.
The 30-by-60-foot American flag, which has flown 100 feet in the air over DeNooyer Chevrolet’s 8th Street dealership for 57 years, was stolen this weekend. A replacement flag is now flying over the dealership.
But you have to wonder, how could someone bundle up a 30-by-60-foot American flag and stuff it into the back of a compact car?
“What are you going to do with it? Keep it rolled up in a basement somewhere? What are you proving by taking down a flag that people enjoy looking at?” asked the dealership’s general manager Nicole DeNooyer.
“Disappointing… especially for the Fourth of July. You love flying a big flag in the summer and the holidays. Somebody stole your flag,” DeNooyer said.
It happened early last Sunday morning, just before 3 a.m. The dealership’s security cameras capture images of a small car, pulled up near the dealership at US-31 and 8th Street.
“It would take some time to take it down, and people were driving by, and no one stopped to say anything,” said DeNooyer.
“We’ve installed a lock box so that, hopefully, it doesn’t happen again. But it’s disappointing that you have to do that,” she said.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department is investigating but doesn’t have any suspects.
The flag is more than just an attraction to the dealership. Nicole DeNooyer’s late Grandfather opened his first dealership in Holland in 1953, moving to the current location in 1965. That’s when he put the flag up.
“He put the flag up because he was in the Marines. So it meant a lot to him,” said DeNooyer. “It means a lot to people in the community.”
While the theft of the flag is disheartening, DeNooyer said there has been some good to come out of it.
“Someone offered to set up a GoFundMe page. Someone offed to replace the flag. That restores your faith in humanity,” said DeNooyer.
If you have any information, like if you know somebody who’s trying to hide a 30-by-60-foot flag, you’re asked to call the Ottawa County sheriff’s office.