By Kurtis Ming

ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – Day after day for two years, Mike and Jill Short have watched an empty storefront’s American flag get dirtier and increasingly worn, they said.

“It just made me sad every time I’d pass this corner,” said Jill Short, who together with her husband Mike have seen the torn, tattered flag’s condition worsen.

“It’s upsetting to see a flag abused,” said Mike Short, a former Naval flight officer and Vietnam veteran.

The pole is now duct taped to the front of the Orangevale storefront.

“We finally decided we just couldn’t take any more of it,” Short said. “We needed to take some action.”

The realty company, however, didn’t do anything when they complained, Short said. And since it’s not his property, he can’t do anything about it.

“We’re trying to step up to the plate, and the people who own the building ought to step up to the plate,” he said.

“It’s important to us,” said Delbert Giese of American Legion Post 77, in Yolo County.

If consumers have an old, tattered flag, the American Legion can retire them.

The group has formal ceremonies twice a year.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars will also take them.

Some police departments have drop-off bins — like this one at the Sacramento Police Department.

“The flag — especially for people who have gone through the military and put their life on the line — the flag is very important to them as a symbol of the American people,” Giese said.

After we put pressure on the realty company, the owner agreed to take down the old battered flag just in time for Veteran’s Day.

“My wife and I high fived each other, and I was like ‘Yes!'” Short said. “I hope it’s meaningful to all [veterans]. It is to me.”

If you see notice a flag that isn’t being displayed the right way, consumers should contact the owner first.

If you don’t know how to, the American Legion said it would help consumers track them down.


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