Flags back waving after thefts
NEW ULM — Flags once again wave over Schonlau Park near the Glockenspiel as of Thursday after a seven-week absence.
All flags were removed from Schonlau Park on March 19 following a wave of flag thefts from the site. The Ulm, Germany, flag, Neu Ulm, Germany, flag and the German national flag were stolen from the park sometime in early March. The Ulm and Neu Ulm flags are rare and difficult to replace. The city was able to replace the German national flag, but the replacement flag was also stolen less than 24 hours later.
In addition to stealing the flags, the rope system used to raise the flags was cut on two of the poles. In response to the thefts and destruction of property, the city had the remaining flags removed from the park until the flag thief was apprehended.
The original flags have not be recovered and no one has been officially charged with theft, but the city has decided to return all flags to Schonlau Park. All nine flags were raised at 1 p.m Thursday, with replacements for the stolen flags.
Flags have been a part of Schonlau park since the installation of the Glockenspiel. During the dedication of the Glockenspiel in 1980, the inclusion of the flags was announced.
The Heymann family donated money to display the first eight flags to symbolize a strong sister-city and namesake-city relationship with friends in Germany.
Then-mayor Carl Wyczawski wrote the mayors of Ulm and Neu Ulm about the project and immediately the cities responded by shipping flags to New Ulm.