With all the attention over removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds, we have a removal of U.S. flags in Charleston that has gone totally unnoticed. Over the Fourth of July weekend, 12 U.S. flags were removed — in this case stolen — from the Evening Exchange Club’s display on Lockwood Boulevard.

The club is a small, co-ed club affiliated with the National Exchange Club, America’s premier service club devoted to community service, prevention of child abuse, and Americanism. We place over 100 U.S. flags along the waterfront on Lockwood Boulevard for the major patriotic holidays as part of our Americanism program.

We thank everyone for the support, positive comments and donations the Evening Exchange Club receives while doing this project. Charlestonians have shown us repeatedly that they love the U.S. flag.

These flags are unusual because they are mounted on a stake in a yard or near a street and not in a holder on a building. We must make them instead of buying them, so we spend considerable time raising the funds, building the flag poles, and erecting and removing them for holidays.

The lowdown individuals who stole the American flags are causing a needless hardship on our club to replace poles as well as flags. We have a message for the thieves: We hope you fly the flags somewhere else and do not destroy or desecrate them. Better yet, put them back the next time the flags are flying on Lockwood Boulevard. They were placed to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who have served and are serving so that you have your freedom.

Over Memorial Day, we only lost one flag to theft and had several coming off the pole that were repaired by some great Americans. May God bless these patriots who once again showed the unmatched spirit of Charleston.

The Evening Exchange Club of Charleston also constructs and sells this type of flag to support our charitable activities, so show your support by purchasing one, not stealing it.

Jack Becknell

President

The Evening Exchange

Club of Charleston

Sulgrave Road

Charleston