Dec 6, 2014 5:54 PM

1976 flag returned to Manchester after being stolen

MANCHESTER - It was an unlikely surprise for Jeff Barraclough and the Manchester Historic Association. Last month this bicentennial American flag belonging to the city arrived in a package from the other side of the country.

"The individual regretted stealing it. Had been feeling guilty and wanted to return it," said Jeff Barraclough.

The flag used to fly above the Weston Observatory. Back in 1976 while the city was trying to restore the observator it was vandalized, and the flag was stolen. Residents were outraged.

"The citizens of Manchester trying to restore one of their landmarks and here someone comes along and does this and how terrible it was," said Manchester historian Robert B. Perreault.

So who stole the flag back in 1976? Well the package that arrived two weeks ago from Nevada along with this anonymous note claiming responsibility.

In the note the writer confesses to climbing scaffolding to steal the flag. They also express regret and apologize for their quote 'selfishness'. Association members had a few theories as to who the culprit might be.

"Probably a prank that some high school kids got together they did it was probably more than one person we figure," said Matt Kfoury with the Manchester Historic Association.

But all seem willing to forgive if they ever come face-to-face with the guilty party.

"I would just say thank you for returning it home. We appreciate it," said Barraclough.

A piece of the city's history now back where it belongs.


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