Two more flags have been stolen from Langley resident Lisa Ebenal, who made headlines last week when a rainbow flag on her front yard was mistakenly removed by a municipal crew.
This time, two flags were stolen on Friday (June 21), one from the front yard of her Aldergrove home, and a second one Ebenal had attached to her fence.
A neighbour’s security camera captured a person on a bicycle stealing the flag from her fence, and has given the video to the RCMP, she said.
“I was really kind of angry and fed up,” is how Ebenal described her immediate reaction.
“I thought, ‘here we go again.’”
But then, the owner of the Flag Shop in Vancouver managed to get in touch and offered to donate a box of pride flags, and when Ebenal let her neighbours know about it, the banners were quickly snapped up.
“It was amazing,” she said.
“A whole lot of people showed up.”
She said her spirits were lifted by the positive feedback she received both online and in person since the latest theft.
“I got some really nice, supportive comments,” she said.
Shortly after Ebenal ran out of flags, another box arrived, with some flags she had ordered online.
Ebenal noted the other rainbow flags, that many of her neighbours began flying to show support, do not appear to have been touched.
“It’s just my flags [that were taken].”
Her first flag was stolen about two weeks ago.
Then, she replaced her flag in the front yard of her home on Thursday, June 13, only to have it disappear the next day.
When a Township of Langley vehicle was spotted in the area around the time the flag was taken, phone call to the Township at first drew a denial that the municipality would do something like that.
But then, there was a call back that said the flag had been removed by mistake because of an anonymous complaint.
It was an error, according to a written statement released by the Township.
“The Township received a complaint about a flag covering what was believed to be a Township sign on a street corner indicating the entrance to a named subdivision,” the statement said.
“As signs are not normally placed on private property, a crew responded assuming that the sign was on public property and removed the flag as per standard practice.”
When they subsequently received another call that the sign was on private property, the statement said the crew “promptly returned the flag to the property owner and verbally apologized.”
Steps will be taken to prevent a repeat, the statement promised.
“The Township regrets the distress our confusion may have caused to the residents and neighbors and going forward will remind crews to check property locations of signs prior to taking action.”
Ebenal said the decorative ground-level sign was put up by the developer of the subdivision.
“It was the show home,” she explained.
“When I bought it, they offered to take it down and I said, leave it.”
She noted the sign was located well back on her front lawn, behind a garden.
“It’s recessed on my property,” Ebenal observed.
“They [the crew] certainly acted without doing due diligence,” she added.
READ ALSO: Pride Flag flies over Langley City
Ebenal has accepted an invitation from Surrey Pride to tell her story at an public event in that city next Saturday.
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