20 American flags taken but returned with help of social media

DENT, Minn. (Valley News Live): 20 American flags were recently stolen from a small town in lakes country but with the help of social media, most of them were eventually returned.

"I was surprised that the flags were gone, because people around here tend to be very patriotic," said the Dent American Legion Post 148 Commander, Ron Bjelland.

Red, white and blue flags typically line the streets in the small town of Dent, Minnesota. The town consists of 200 people on the weekdays but swells up to 500 people on summer weekends. But just weeks ago Old Glory was taken.

"We had all the guys out looking for them, I told them to look in the road ditches any place we could find them," explained Bjelland.

To replace the stolen flags, it would cost the group about $400. A post was made on social media, just asking for their return. Days later, an anonymous call was received at the town bank.

"The bank got a call saying the flags were at the Lion's shelter," stated Bjelland.

Bjelland came down here to the towns park and leaning up against the building were 16 of the 20 flags and their poles. The only damage done was that they were all wet.

"They were in relatively good shape, other than the fact that they were wet and we dried them out and appears only four are still missing," said Bjelland.

Other people in town are still surprised a symbol which represents freedom for all of us would be taken.

"I will keep a closer eye," said Rhonda Huwe of Dent, Minnesota. "Even though we are a small community we do have a lot of mischievous things going on and we need to be more watchful as a community."

Bjelland says he's happy to have the flags back but surprised that social media made the difference.

"I didn't believe that was going to bring them back," stated Bjelland.

The American flags are tucked away for now but will line the streets for the July 4th holiday. As for four flags still missing, Bjelland says the Dent American Legion can replace those. He says the cost for four is more manageable than compared to 20.