Earlier this week, the daughter of an 85-year-old disabled veteran discovered the charred remains of his Mississippi state flag, and racial graffiti in front of his Pascagoula home.
Also on the man’s property — the words “blacks rule” scrawled across his driveway in front of the home he’s lived in for nine years.
Someone had taken that flag off the side of Bob Coman’s house to destroy it. While some view the flag as a symbol of racism, to Comans that flag represents a part of his family’s heritage. His great-grandfather served in the Civil War, and Comans says when he served in the Army during the Korean War he fought for freedoms like the right to fly the flag.
Neighbors were shocked when they found out what happened. They say Comans is like family to them. When the story first aired on WLOX, Comans vowed to fly his flag again, even in its burnt and tattered condition.
But he won’t have to, thanks to some folks in his community who decided to help out.
“Two men come and parked out front and brought me a flag in a box and said they were from the American Legion in Gautier,” Comans said. Comans was like a kid on Christmas Day as he opened his new Mississippi flag on Tuesday, WLOX reported.
Comans said that flag was just one of three that Good Samaritans dropped off to him after the local news station aired his story. “It makes me feel good because I was going to have to search to find one, because I believe a lot of that stuff has been taken off the market,” he said.
The message “blacks rule” that covered a portion of his driveway has been removed. Some local volunteers worked to clean it off for Comans for free, the report said.
Police are not labeling this a hate crime just yet, because they first have to establish who the suspect is in this case. Comans believes two teenaged boys from the neighborhood are behind the vandalism.
The patriotic Pascagoula resident says he refuses to live in fear and will continue to proudly display his symbol of heritage.