Burial Flag Found In Rubble Of Flooded Town

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 8:45 pm
By: News On 6

Firefighters in Coffeyville, Kansas are trying to return a prized memento to its rightful owner. Shortly after flooding devastated the town, a lost burial flag was dropped of at the fire station. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports firefighters say they've come across all sorts of missing possessions during the past two weeks, but the flag, more than anything else, has caught their attention.

A few days after the floodwaters decimated the eastern part of Coffeyville a flag showed up at the fire department. Dropped off by a Kansas Highway patrolman, it was in bad shape.

"It was mud, and oil and caked pretty bad, we washed the flag, cleaned the case up and it actually came out pretty good," said Lieutenant Wayne Joplin with the Coffeyville Fire Department.

The firefighters then unfurled the flag, and flew it above their station to dry it out. Now they want to unravel the mystery of its origins. Firefighters believe because of the way the flag is mounted and folded, it's a burial flag, and they'd like to make sure it gets back to its rightful owner.

"It was on somebody's casket. It was a veteran's flag, and that's why we wanted to try and find out who owned it,” said Joplin. “It's a memento, if it was my family, my flag, belong to somebody in my family, I'd want it back."

Returning old glory to its proper home won't be easy, but some flood victims have mentioned missing flags, including a woman we talked to back on July 8th.

"I'd like to go back and see if I can salvage an American flag that has sentimental values, and my mother's cedar chest," said Coffeyville resident Catherine Murray.

While Coffeyville firefighters hope someone will come forward and claim the flag, they say if that doesn't happen they're more than willing to hold onto it.

"I guess if we don't find a home for it, it will have a home here," Lieutenant Joplin said.

Anyone who thinks the flag may be theirs, or has any information about its owner, is encouraged to stop by the Coffeyville Fire Department, or you can also give them a call at 620-252-6148.

Watch the video: Firefighters Search For Owner Of Burial Flag Found After The Flood