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Edmonton couple shocked after U.S. flag ripped down
CLAIRE THEOBALD Edmonton Sun
First posted: Monday, August 17, 2015 10:37 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 01:26 AM EDT
An Edmonton man is shocked after an American flag he had waving outside of his home was ripped from its pole by vandals.

“I was initially angry, and quite frankly I was saddened to think of the contempt or the disdain that exists out there for the United States, and maybe a lot of misunderstanding,” said Steve Thompson.

Thompson said he was excited to put up the flag pole his family had given him for Christmas outside of his family’s Callingwood home.

On July 1, in recognition of Canada Day, Thompson’s family held their own flag raising ceremony, proudly hoisting the Canadian flag.

On the Fourth of July, in recognition of American Independence Day, Thompson — whose wife is from the United States and whose children hold dual American and Canadian citizenship — hoisted an American flag underneath the maple leaf.

Thompson’s wife even dedicated the flag to her late father, an American war hero and decorated prisoner of war.

When asked why stringing up flags outside of his home was so important, Thompson said, “I am a patriot. I love my country. It’s symbolic. I also love America.”

For weeks, Thompson and his wife loved looking out at the two flags waving in their front yard as they sipped their morning coffee, but on Friday Thompson looked out the window and their American flag was gone.

When Thompson went to investigate, he saw the grommets used to hang the American flag had been ripped off and left dangling on the pole. The Canadian flag, however, was left untouched.

While Thompson wants to believe it was just the actions of a careless mischief maker, perhaps under the influence of intoxicants, who ripped down his American flag, he can’t help but feel there is a more sinister meaning behind the action.

“It’s unfortunate that some people hold that level of contempt for our neighbours to the south,” he said.

Thompson describes his love for America as second only to his love of Canada, and takes pride in both countries’ dedication to democracy and freedom.

He says in his time spent in the United States, he sees American flags “on every second door” and watches as Americans are reduced to tears when singing their national anthem, and would like to see Canadians to embrace that sense of national pride.

“I don’t know if we’re too shy or too polite, but we should be matching that same level of patriotism for Canada,” Thompson said. “We should see more Canadian flags, we should see them everywhere.”

As for the battle waging in his own front yard, Thompson said he will be hanging another American flag, and will continue to fly both flags with pride whether or not neighbourhood vandals approve.

claire.theobald@sunmedia.ca
Steve and Caroline Thompson pose with a photo of the Canadian and USA flags they had flying in their backyard at their home in Edmonton.. The couple say someone ripped their American flag down last week. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/Edmonton SUn).

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