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American flag with sentimental value missing from Elmvale Legion


An American flag with irreplaceable sentimental value that was loaned to the Elmvale Legion for its Memorial Cup celebrations in February has gone missing, and the owners, desperate for its safe return, say they just want it back, no questions asked.

Christopher Heads joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2004 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005, where he served until 2007.

Upon his return home, Heads was given two U.S. flags: one for his family and the other donated to the Elmvale Legion, which is displayed behind a glass case.

In mid-February, the town held a special celebration and practice for the Saginaw Spirit, last year's Memorial Cup Champion, ahead of the Spirit's game against the Barrie Colts.

The Memorial Cup is a tribute to Canadian hockey players who lost their lives during the First World War.

"We didn't have an American Flag here at the branch, and because the Memorial Cup is both American and Canadian, we thought it would be fitting," said Samantha Zammit, the sister of Christopher Heads.

Zammit and her mother, Carolyn Heads, also the Legion's auxiliary president, loaned her family's flag to the Legion on February 14 for the festivities for an awards ceremony attended by veterans, dignitaries and the mayor.

The Heads' flag was hung alongside the Canadian flag at Branch 262. After the festivities, members said it was folded and placed into Carolyn's mailbox at the Legion, but when she returned to pick it up a few days later, it was gone.

"I was hoping it was just misplaced," Zammit said. "We turned the building upside down and cannot find it anywhere."

The flag was last seen on February 18.

Since then, members of the Legion have contacted the police and searched internally and through word of mouth for the missing flag.

"It's not pleasant to think that somebody would come in here and take something," said Carolyn. "There's so much memorabilia from veterans and whatnot that it would be a shame to think that somebody would be coming in and disrespecting it."

The Legion operates as a bar during business hours and rents meeting rooms, and people can come and go freely, so it's challenging to determine when or who could have moved or taken the flag.

Officials added that security cameras were disconnected at the time as the branch was undergoing renovations.

Anyone with information regarding the missing American flag is urged to contact the Elmvale Legion or the OPP.

With files from CTV's Christian D'Avino Top Stories

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