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EXCLUSIVE: Authorities Investigate Flag Burnings

Police and the Arlington Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a series of flag burnings in the Williamsburg and East Falls Church neighborhoods of North Arlington.

A total of 27 decorative flags were burned overnight on a quiet couple of blocks between Quantico Street and Sycamore Street, near Bishop O’Connell High School and Tuckahoe Elementary, according to fire department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. Neighbors say the plastic flags were recently placed in yards by the Boy Scouts, an annual Flag Day tradition.

Investigators believe whoever burned the flags did so just before 5:30 a.m. The fires caused the plastic flags to melt onto plants, yards and walkways. No word on a motive, but one neighbor on 27th Street theorized that the vandal or vandals were trying to send a message.

“There are some people who object to the flags for political reasons,” she said. “There are ways to protest if you don’t believe in something, but destructive protests like this do not accomplish goals. It does not accomplish anything.”

The resident acknowledged, however, that the flag burnings could also be a random act of “pure vandalism,” adding that said she could not remember anything like this happening in the 11 years she has lived in the neighborhood.

“It’s dangerous,” she said. “It could have caused a real fire.”

Anyone with information about the burnings is asked to call Deputy Fire Marshal Paul Frank at 703-228-4644. More photos, after the jump.

Hat tip to Colleen Creighton

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