An investigation is underway into who scorched nearly a dozen pride flags outside a home in Corsicana.
Corsicana Police Chief Robert Johnson said it happened between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. the morning of June 2.
It was hours after Terry Garner and Keith Dowler displayed them in their front yard for Pride Month, which began June 1.
The couple was vacationing with their daughter in east Texas when they got a call from the police and rushed home. There, they discovered what a neighbor had earlier in the day: 10 Pride flags laying on the ground burned.
“They had burned one at the front door, laid out in perfect form and burned it,” Garner said.
There was also a vase that had been smashed on the ground which they suspect was an attempt to wake them up.
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“At first, we were kind of shocked and then we were like, no, we’re not going to be shocked. We’re going to use this as an opportunity to show we’re just like everybody else. We want to raise our child in peace,” Garner said.
The family moved to Corsicana four years ago from Dallas. They bought their current home because it resembled a New Orleans-style house, where they also previously lived.
Still, they say they never felt at home until what happened last week.
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Since then, the community’s raised more than $1,300 in reward money to catch the vandal, and some of the new replacement flags put up this week were donated from neighbors.
“It’s a little emotional,” Garner said.
“From what we first thought, until recently, the city has really blossomed to us. There’s some good people here,” Dowler said.
In addition to replacing all 10 flags, they’ve added one more sign to the yard. It reads, “Love Always Wins.” It’s a message they hope the person responsible sees.
“We want them to know that we’re unfazed, and we’re unapologetic, and we’re going to continue to fly them and if they burn more, we will continue to put more out,” Garner said.
Corsicana police say detectives are following up on all leads that become available.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Corsicana police at 903-654-4900. Chief Johnson said tips can also be received via the Corsicana Police Department Facebook page Messenger App and that they may remain anonymous.