ROMEOVILLE – An unknown suspect stole a Confederate flag from a residence in Romeoville last week.
The Romeoville Police Department released information on the incident, which was reported at 6:27 a.m. Dec. 16.
The theft occurred in the 600 block of Belmont Drive at the home of Terrell Western, 56, who has been living at the residence for 20 years, and has had the flag up for about a year. The unknown suspect stole the Confederate flag and a pole from the yard of Western’s home.
Western said this is actually the second time in recent months that someone has stolen a Confederate flag from his front yard. This time they damaged part of the pole and left his American flag on the ground, which he said was even more upsetting. He’s since put up security cameras on his house and replaced the flag with another one.
“I’m from the South,” Western said. “There’s no racist meaning about it.”
Western said he is originally from Tennessee and moved up north when he was a kid. He’s been living in that house in Romeoville for the last 20 years.
He said he put up the flag because he used to have it at his camper in Wilmington and there were incidents of people burning other people’s Confederate flags there. So he decided to put up his flag at his house.
Western added that he and his wife have experienced multiple instances of people driving by and yelling or making comments or gestures in regard to the flag.
“We’ve had people drive by and yell out the window, ‘Get rid of the flag!’” Western said.
He said he’s also had some people even come by to compliment their flag as well, but no one who disapproves of the flag has come to actually have a conversation about it with him directly.
“They just drive by and yell out the window or flip us off,” he said.
Western and his wife have noticed some activity on Facebook regarding the flag in a group called “Romeoville Residents,” in which locals have shared their views. The comments were a mixed bag with some expressing their displeasure and others voicing support, but either way, Western said they don’t bother him.
Romeoville Police Records Supervisor Karyn Showers said that as of Friday no suspects were identified in the case.
Western had some advice for those opposed to his flying the Confederate flag.
“If they don’t like the flag,” he said. “Go down another street.”