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Harrisonville police searching for owner of folded U.S. flag found near I-49

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- It's enough to make a patriotic American angry. Police in Cass County say a driver found a folded American flag laying on the road while cars zipped past without stopping to gather it.

It comes as a big surprise, even to seasoned police officers in Harrisonville. Police reports from December 1 show a driver found the folded American flag -- the kind you might see at American military funerals -- laying in the road at a busy intersection.

Harrisonville Police Lieutenant Chris Osterberg said a male driver found the flag last Monday, and kept it for a few days before having his wife deliver it to police headquarters.

Lt. Osterberg said it was found on the ground near Interstate 49 and Commercial Street, one of the busiest areas in Cass County.

"It has a little bit of damage along this left edge here," Lt. Osterberg said.

But other than that, the flag is in good shape.

"In all my years of law enforcement, this is probably the first report of a flag being found like this," Lt. Osterberg said. "It appears it's from some type of military funeral. It probably came off a casket."

Lt. Osterberg says there's a rest area near the intersection where travelers often stop. He suspects the flag fell out of or off of one of those cars.

"The reporting officer contacted the funeral homes in Harrisonville, just to see if we'd had any recent funerals," Lt. Osterberg said. "He also contacted the American Legion as well as the VFW."

The topic hits home for former U.S. Marine Bob Jacobs. He served four years of military duty during the Vietnam War. Now, he serves on the honor guard at a local VFW post, presenting flags during funerals for fallen soldiers.

"I just thought somebody had it on their car and they took off, and it just fell off," Jacobs said.

Cass County resident Jason Burris is the driver who originally found the flag. His wife, Mitzi, told FOX 4 News Jason had served eight years in the U.S. Army, and he hated seeing the flag laying on the ground.

Lt. Osterberg says police want to return the flag to its owner. If you know who owns the flag, call the Harrisonville Police Department.

Click here for Harrisonville Police's post concerning the flag on Facebook.

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