Stolen NMU and DDA flags

Katie Bultman

Over $1,500 worth of custom designed NMU flags have been stolen from the downtown Marquette area this year.

The flags, placed around town by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), were designed and purchased as a collaborative effort between NMU and the DDA, according to Tara Laase-McKinney, the promotions and events coordinator at the DDA. She said the situation is disheartening.

NMU flag photo Courtesy Downtown development
Courtesy Downtown Development Authority

“We want to be able to have the opportunity to display our pride in NMU and to welcome visitors to the area,” Laase-McKinney said. “The stolen flags cost us money. We have limited resources, so it makes it difficult to continue to replace them.”

The DDA put up 120 flags around town for well-known campus events like welcome weekend, homecoming, parent’s weekend and graduation. Laase-McKinney said about 21 flags and flagpoles have been stolen, costing around $80 each.

“We will gladly take any of these flags back, no questions asked,” Laase-McKinney said. “While some people feel they may be completing a harmless prank, they should remember it affects people’s impression of our town.”

The DDA has only recovered one flag since the thefts. Last year alone, 29 flags went missing, which had since been replaced.

In an effort to prevent stolen flags in the future, Laase-McKinney said the DDA has purchased tracking chips to locate the flags.

“That’s really sad that they have to do that, that they have to put trackers on a flag just so a student won’t steal something,” Miranda Norton, freshman photography major, said. “I had no idea this was going on, I can’t believe that.”

Norton said she was guessing if it is students stealing the flags, they are most likely doing it on a dare.

Junior accounting major Ivan Rutherford said the first thing he thought when he noticed the flags was, “How long until those things get stolen?”

Rutherford said,  “The next time you see them will probably be on the wall at a house party.”