ITHACA, N.Y. — After receiving about half a dozen phone complaints about the American flag above Ithaca’s City Hall not being at half-staff on 9/11, officials released a statement about the incident on Facebook.

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The Facebook post reads:

We’re sad that we are not able to fly our American Flag at half-mast today in remembrance of all the innocent and brave lives lost 14 years ago. Our flag was not only stolen but the ropes were cut, requiring new rigging which we are currently working on restoring. Although we don’t have the visual reminder to display today, we will never forget those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

City Clerk Julie Holcomb verified Friday afternoon that officials realized the flag was stolen just over a week ago.

She said people have been climbing onto rooftops downtown — possibly by using fire escapes — and jumping from rooftop to rooftop where they graffiti and vandalize the area.

She said city officials have been in the process of purchasing a new flag and rigging system, adding that if it was flying at full-staff today — she was unsure if it had — it may have been while officials were re-rigging it.

“Our intention was never to offend anyone,” she said. “It was never intended to fly at full-staff today.”

By late afternoon, an American flag was being flown above city hall at half-staff.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.