County takes action after unapproved flags pop up downtown

A viewer sent WWAY a photo of an American flag accompanied by 3 other flags on county property Saturday morning. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County is not taking any more chances and is taking down a long-standing flag pole at the corner of 3rd and Grace streets that has been drawing eyes downtown lately.

It started back on Tuesday, which was the night of municipal elections, according to County Spokesman Jessica Loeper.

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One downtown resident says he saw an American and “Trump” flag raised. Steven Aaron says he’s lived downtown for a while and has never seen the pole in use.

“I’ve lived downtown here for 26 years and I’ve never seen a flag on the pole,” Aaron said. “I always thought it was a shame because, if we have a flag pole, lets put a flag pole on it.”

Loeper says a city trash collector, who happened to be right there, saw it and removed it immediately, but she says the flag pole hasn’t been in use since the parking deck was built and it does not have any ropes to fly a flag. She confirms it is county property.

A viewer sent WWAY a photo of the American flag and three other flags on the pole again on Saturday morning during the annual Veterans Day parade.

Aaron calls the activity unusual.

“On Saturday, there was an American flag on top and then there were two flags underneath the American flag that were similar to the American flag, but one had like dark blue stripes on it and the other had something strange on it … and a Trump flag,” Aaron said.

Loeper says when the county was notified Saturday morning the property management team quickly removed them.

She says the pole is going to be taken down in the near future since it is in an area that is difficult to access.

“I think it would be nice to have an American flag and maybe a Cape Fear Community College flag or a state flag underneath the American Flag,” Aaron said.