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American flag making waves in Masonboro Inlet

READ MORE: American flag making waves in Masonboro Inlet

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –- The stars and stripes are perhaps our Nation’s most recognizable symbol. But a tribute to service members on Masonboro Island is making waves among boaters and the people in charge of the island.

Cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway and near marker 151 you’ll find an empty flagpole. Since the Fourth of July weekend, it had flown an American flag. Boaters calling themselves the “Anonymous Patriots” posted a plaque with it honoring veterans and active duty military that have served our county and defended our freedom. They say they could not think of a better view from their boats than Old Glory. But now, the flag is gone, and the boaters who put it up, who do not want to be identified, say they don’t understand why.

“It's disappointing that the state doesn't recognize it for what it is, a memorial that didn't cost the tax payers a dime,” and Anonymous Patriot said. “It would have been nice if the state would have erected something like that but again, some private citizens, “Anonymous Patriots” put it up as a city memorial for all the see."

Hope Sutton with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management says personal property is not allowed on Masonboro Reserve, so the flag had to go.

“We give them some time to come claim their property, then we go back and remove those items,” Sutton said. “So in this case, it happens to be a flag pole, but it's pretty much the same as other personal property."

Sutton says Coastal Management left a note on the flag Friday letting the owners know that by law it had to be taken down. She says when the flag was still flying Tuesday morning, officials removed it from the pole. Sutton says she knows the people responsible for the flag are nervous to come forward, because they think they will get in trouble, but she says she is working to find a new home for the flag.

“We would like nothing more than whoever placed that flagpole there to come and work with us to find a more suitable location where it could be lawfully installed so it could be appreciated as it was intended,” Sutton said.

The boaters say they do not think they were given enough time to figure out if the flag could stay where it was, and where they hope it will soon return. They say they have gone as far as to contact local and state leaders to see what can be done about getting the flag back where they think it belongs.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Geez, talk about piling on!

Geez, talk about piling on!

At no time did I compare the American flag to a pink flamingo...I specifically said "flag pole". If you woke up in the morning and someone had erected a 30 foot pole in your front yard, you'd be a little upset as well. Geez people, get a grip and read what people actually write.

Secondly, if you're going to wrap yourself in the patriotism of flying a flag, you best show the American flag the respect she deserves. According to the national flag code, the American flag shouldn't be flown in inclement weather and should only be flown from sunrise to sunset, unless properly illuminated. Who's responsible for boating out there to bring the flag up and down at night or during the rain?

I fly TWO American flags in my own yard - showing the flag the respect she deserves by bringing her down at night and during bad weather. The same cannot be said for the shredded flag left flying over Masonboro, can it?

Very well stated

Very well stated Justin...some people are far too wrapped up in their own patriotism and symbolism to accept there are responsibilities, procedures and consequences for erecting a flag pole -or any structure- on private and state-protected property.

Ideally, a memorial like this should be accessible to EVERYONE, not just folks who own boats or those who visit Masonboro Island. If I could, I would paint the sands of our area beaches red, white and blue to honor our military - but that's not my right. And I wouldn't force my beliefs on others in such a public setting either.

People are so quick to jump down each other's throats when they think someone is challenging their patriotism in this society...we should be spending more time listening.

American Flag

I think that flag is beautiful as it waves. What a wonderful gesture and whomever did this is to commended. Look out there and see that flag gives one a since of pride. How great it is to be an American!
Huge Thank You to who was responsible. Sure hope with all the uproar in America right now that flag continues to wave to remind us of what a great land we live in even with all the troubles. Thank you again to the ones responsible.


what a joke! what exactly do they manage anyway?