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Widow: Flag removed from veteran husband's grave without her consent

By Alison Parker
Published On: Jan 24 2013 04:41:27 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 05:38:40 PM CST

The husband of a Onslow County woman died four years ago in combat, and a flag had been flying at his grave since then. But when the widow visited the grave Thursday morning, the flag was gone.

Erica Wallace's husband, who died while fighting in Afghanistan, was buried at Onslow Memorial Park.

"He's had a flag that's flown out there for a little over three years now," Wallace said.

But Wallace said when she drove by her husband's grave Thursday morning, she saw that he flag was gone. She said she later found the flag lying outside the cemetery's maintenance building, wrapped around its pole.

According to Wallace, Onslow Memorial Park maintenance workers had taken the flag and pole out of her husband's grave because it was too tall.

But a spokesperson with the cemetery said the flag was removed because of its condition- it was tattered and weather-worn. According to the representative, Onslow Memorial Park had a policy that required maintenance  workers to inspect the cemetery, and notify families if flowers or anything else at gravesites must be removed. Cemetery workers contacted Wallace three times before they removed the flag post, the spokesperson said.

But Wallace said she was never contacted.

"The flag should have been flown here," Wallace said. "He died for our freedom. there was no reason for that flag to be taken up and disposed of like that."