Mianus River Bridge flags vandalized

Greenwich police are investigating a vandalism against the American flags placed alongside the Mianus River Bridge in Cos Cob. Several of the flags were stolen and the flagpoles broken but members of the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Company have vowed to have new flags up by the end of the day.

The flags were placed along both sides of the bridge this past May by the fire company and other volunteers. There were 10 flags put on each side but, after the incident, there were only four flags left along one side and nine on the other. Several of the fiberglass flagpoles were also snapped and have since been removed. The flags were seen in good condition on Tuesday evening so it is speculated right now that the incident took place late Tuesday close to midnight.

No details have been released by the police department but this is considered to be an active investigation.


Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Company Chief John Pugney told the Post on Wednesday that he had a call out to the members of the department and people in the community to replace the flags. The flags, which are up for the second year and have become a rather iconic summer image for people driving along Route 1 across the bridge, were bought by the fire company.

“The fiberglass poles were splintered so it looks like whoever did this grabbed a hold of them and snapped them down,” Chief Pugney said. “They weren’t able to break the flag poles out of the brackets but they were able to split the fiberglass into a bunch of strips. They ripped the flags off them and took them.”

The missing flags were reportedly not found at the scene.

The flags have become quite popular for the two summers they’ve been up. When the flags returned last May, the volunteers putting them up were greeted with honks of support from passing drivers and shouts of thank you. Chief Pugney said it was disappointing to see this happen now.

“It’s disrespectful, not only to the country, but to the men and women who are fighting for the freedom that these people are living under,” Chief Pugney said.

With the incident happening so close to the Fourth of July, Chief Pugney said he didn’t think the timing was a coincidence.

The flags are a passion project of Selectman David Theis, who spearheaded the effort to have them first put up last year. He was at the scene to help repair the damage and spoke to the Post.

“I personally hope this was the act of some misguided youth and a vandalism as opposed to someone who holds a different belief than we do in America,” Mr. Theis said. “If that’s the case, though, then that person should just go back where they came from. If you can’t live under our laws then we don’t need you here. You have to show respect.”

Chief Pugney said that he just hopes whoever is responsible doesn’t regard this as a harmless prank.

“People have to understand how serious this is,” Chief Pugney said. “We take our colors seriously here. These are the colors of our country and you have to respect them.”

There will be more updates to greenwich-post.com as they become available and there will be full coverage in the Post’s July 12 edition.


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