Middletown man's religious tolerance flag stolen

Posted at 5:04 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 17:59:01-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Brad Kochunas said he's upset that a flag was stolen from his yard in Middletown -- but the possible motive behind the theft is what bothers him most.

The flag is called a religious tolerance flag, and it includes the Islam star and crescent symbol, the Jain traditional hand, the symbols of masculinity and feminity, the star of David, the Yin and Yang and the cross. The symbols spell out "Coexist."

Kochunas said the flag pole was bend and he thinks someone tore the flag off the pole.

"I'm disappointed at the prospect that it may be an act of religious intolerance, living in a country where we have religious freedom," he said. "It scares me that someone would take such action to a statement that they disagreed so strongly, perhaps of my own views of inclusiveness."

His neighbor, Victoria Williford, said she was also troubled by the news.

"It's a little scary to me to think that people would have that much hatred that they would take your flag off your porch," she said.

Middletown police are investigating the theft and would for tips to be called in to 513-425-7766.

"I would think, especially at this time, that it's important to try and understand the other person's point of view," Kochunas said.