After a series of protests in Nevada turned violent, a Nevada city discovered a World War II-era flag had been stolen. Thankfully, after a news story came out online, a local journalist found the flag in the most unusual place…
As you likely know, after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, protests erupted all over the world, including Reno, Nevada. There, like many locations, the protests turned violent. Afterward, the Reno City Hall announced that someone had stolen a flag from World War II during the chaos. In their announcement, the city expressed great sadness, as Reno had received it back in 1946. Before that, it had flown on the cruiser USS Reno during World War II.
Not only that, but the USS Reno also has quite the story behind it. Shortly after joining the Pacific Fleet in 1944, it quickly earned three battle stars, plowing through a series of operations and serious battles. It even took two hits from Japanese torpedos during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944 without sinking! The original plaque near the flag stated that “skillful seamanship, courage, and the unremitting effort of those remaining on board” kept the flag safe through all those years and missions. So, as one might imagine, city officials felt devastated by the loss. Soon enough, the story hit the local papers…
Kenzie Margiott, a reporter for CNN affiliate KRNV in Reno, quickly covered the story for both KRNV and its parent network. It was a typical story, merely covering the facts. In fact, she thought little of it afterward! However, a few days later, Margiott received an anonymous package in the post. Inside, the reporter found the flag she had talked about just the previous day. “I kind of paused for a second, looked around at everyone, and I’m like – guys, the flag,” she said afterward, still shocked. “The flag I wrote a story about just yesterday.”
The package came with no return address and only a simple note: The flag I wrote a story about just yesterday.” The flag came with a special note which didn’t say much. “Needed protecting. Looters were flag burning. RIP Gorge Floyd.” City officials still have no idea who sent the flag back or stole it. Still, the mayor views it as a good thing. “This is a symbol of the goodness of human beings,” Reno Vice Mayor Devon Reese said. “This is a symbol of the resilience our community has.”
Thankfully, protests have become much, much more peaceful since the theft. Meanwhile, the Reno Police Department released new rules and regulations afterward, including a short-lived curfew. All this is happening during coronavirus, when health officials still recommend not to gather in big groups of 50 or more for the overall safety.