Six American flags and three patriotic banners were destroyed last week in East Quogue’s Village Green park, an act of vandalism that has cost the town a few hundred dollars and caused outrage among community members.
The incident, which was discovered by a concerned citizen and phoned into the Southampton Town Parks and Recreation Department last Friday, occurred sometime between the night of July 11 and 8 a.m. Friday when the vandalism was reported to the Southampton Town Police.
The American flag poles that decorated the park’s walkway were broken and the flags were dragged through mud and left either laid out across picnic tables or on the ground. The damage was cleared and new flags were purchased on Friday, Southampton Town Parks and Recreation Superintendent Chris Bean said, at a cost of about $200.
The red, white and blue banners that adorned the stage in the park were provided by the East Quogue Civic Association at a cost of about $270, the group’s president Al Algieri said.
Mr. Algieri said he found the vandalism abhorrent as well as an affront to the community and the country. He added that the incident was most likely premeditated because of how difficult the banners are to access.
“To go up on that stage and rip those off, I just can’t imagine who would do that in East Quogue,” he said. “What kind of group would do something like that?”
The Parks and Recreation employee who reported the incident also told police that several shingles were missing from the gazebo near the park’s playground.
Mr. Bean said there has been some minor vandalism in the park before such as graffiti, but never anything to this extent.
There were no witnesses to the incident and there are no suspects at this time, according to police. An incident report on file with police requests that additional patrols of the area be made at night.
The vandalism occurred about two weeks after a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the East Quogue Village Green.