OTTAWA COUNTY, MI – Just in time for July 4th, DeNooyer Chevrolet replaced a stolen 30-by-60-foot US flag – a landmark of US 31 and East Eighth Street in the Netherlands.
The big flag was taken early Sunday, June 26.
Nicole Dinoire said that no one would have imagined anyone would steal the flag. It is heavy and bulky. What will they do with it?
So, when a worker called and asked her about buying a new flag, she said, “What do you mean?”
Someone cut heavy ropes attached to the 100-foot flag pole, then lowered the flag and carried it across 8th Street to a car parked behind a Shell gas station.
Hours later, people started asking about her. Some were upset. They posted on Facebook and contacted the agent. Where is the science?
DeNooyer said the reaction of many showed how important the science is to those in the Netherlands region. Many said they were sorry, or gave thanks, and some volunteered to start a fundraiser.
“It was a flow,” Denoyer said.
“It’s a big part of our town and people are happy to see that we’re driving next door,” a woman wrote on the dealer’s Facebook page.
Another wrote: “This is the most beautiful flag I’ve ever seen and I absolutely love seeing it when I’m driving on the highway. The way it waves with the wind and its beauty with the sunset benefits my heart, many times brings tears to my eyes.”
DeNooyer wanted to fly the flag by the holiday. You didn’t know if that was possible. The flag was raised on Wednesday afternoon.
The late Robert Denoyer Sr., a US Marine, began selling Chevrolet in the Netherlands in 1953. He raised a large American flag when his company moved to the current location in 1965.
Perhaps he was annoyed by the theft. His granddaughter said he would have been overwhelmed by how much that meant to others.
She, her brother Dominic, and her father, Robert Sr., own the agency.
Nancy Hasefort, a receptionist at DeNooyer, said she received a text message from a friend asking about the missing flag. She suspected it had been removed for repair but soon found out it was stolen.
Surveillance video showed that the theft occurred at approximately 2:55 a.m. I thought it was strange that no one said anything despite so many cars passing by.
“We are very happy that we raised the flag and raised it, especially before the fourth,” she said.
“It was great to see them raise the flag again.”
DeNooyer Chevrolet owns the Flag Maintenance Company that takes care of the flag and wear repair.
The new flag cost $2,850. There is now a lock box to prevent theft. No one had considered it before. Even if they had them, Dinoyer said, “It’s not easy to steal the flag.”
The theft took place outside the city limits of Holland. Ottawa County Representatives are investigating the matter. Police Captain Jake Sparks said no arrests were made.
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