The mysterious case of the Guerneville disappearing rainbow flag

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- If not for the insult, they say it might almost be beautiful. A rainbow flag, stolen, then tossed from the Guerneville Bridge to the bottom of the Russian River.

"If this were an American flag everyone would be in an uproar," said Beth Streets, who has already reached that point after six rainbow flags have disappeared from the county flagpole in Guerneville's town square.

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Beth fought for and gained county approval to raise those banners beneath the American and California flags. But someone keeps taking them and leaving threatening notes, supposedly signed by veterans.

A local chapter from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence maintains the flagpole. Jesse Hughes, aka Sister Peghan Ritual, does some of the work. "It is a flag about unity and being respected for who you are."

"I was angry because it is a slap in the face of the community," said Beth.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department has begun an investigation. Technically, it's a misdemeanor for vandalism. However, investigators have a surveillance video showing the thieves covering up the camera before taking a flag last Wednesday night. The Sheriff's office may already have a suspect.

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Suzy Kuhr owns that camera and believes one of the culprits may be a local homeless person who she and others have helped in a local shelter. "I think he needs to realize that most of the people who took care of them and served and sheltered them were gay."

All this in a rainbow-themed town, where a stolen flag beneath the water under a bridge feels more troubling than a mere misdemeanor.

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