Stolen Independence Day flags found broken in Largo neighborhood

Flags stolen from Bay Hills subdivision Monday

LARGO - The Fourth of July means family, food and fireworks.

"We're going to smoke some ribs and my wife's made homemade potato salad," said neighbor Jim Davis.

"I have my family coming over, and I'm cooking some brats and hamburgers," said neighbor Bob Schiffer.

"Today we have a family gathering up at my sister-in-law's.  It's my mother-in-law's birthday -- the Fourth of July," said neighbor Bob Rogers.

Neighbors in Largo's Bay Hills subdivision also say Independence Day means flags -- hundreds of them along Hamlin Boulevard and in front yards.

Those flags disappeared Monday night, leaving the sidewalk bare.

"It's just a shame that we have that sort of stuff going on," said Rogers.

It bothered neighbor Bob Schiffer, a veteran and a patriot who helped put them up. The flags are a neighborhood Fourth of July tradition. Then he got a call from a neighbor this morning.

"They came across all these flags laying on the ground, so as good Americans they picked them up, 'cause the American flag should never be on the ground," said Schiffer.

"Most of them were broken," he said showing us their splintered ends.

The ones that aren't are waving at drivers in Schiffer's neighborhood again.  He planted them proudly this morning.

Fourth of July isn't just about family, food, fireworks or flags.

"I always think about the men and women who fought for our freedom- that's what always comes to my mind," said neighbor Dina Mietner.

This holiday is about freedom.

"They do look good," said Mietner.

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