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Indiana teenagers
burn rainbow flag

Indiana teenagers
burn rainbow flag

Two Bloomington, Ind., teenagers stole and burned a rainbow-colored American flag representing gays and lesbians that was displayed outside a store, police said. The 17-year-old boys took the flag from outside David Wade's culinary supply store, Inner Chef, according to police. Wade said the flag, called the "New Glory," shows that all Americans are welcome at his business.

A witness saw the boys take the flag and took a picture of their license plate with a cell phone camera. Police later tracked the plate and questioned the boys, who said they burned the flag because they felt it was "unpatriotic," police reports said. The boys were referred to juvenile court on preliminary charges of theft. "I just wish they would've come in and talked to me about it," Wade said. "I didn't know if it was a prank, an American flag issue, or a gay issue. Any of them could've just come inside and had a conversation about it."

Beverly Calender-Anderson, director of Bloomington's Safe and Civil City Program, said if there is a suspicion that the flag burning was a hate crime, the incident would be reported to the Human Rights Commission. "We do value and honor the diversity in our city and do not condone discrimination or any kind of acts against people because of their sexual orientation, gender, race, class, or anything else," she said.

Wade said he would replace the flag. (AP)

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