The American flag means many things to many people like freedom, sacrifice, and pride. The flag's become a target for thieves in Carrollwood where Old Glory is being swiped right off of homes

“He said, ‘Do you notice anything?’ I'm looking around and the flag is gone,” says Debbie Doliner.

“I think they took the whole pole.”

Doliner's husband discovered crooks stole their American flag while they slept Saturday night off their well-lit front porch.

“A little violated, angry. I don’t know why anyone would steal a symbol of so many good things,” says Doliner.

It's where they've flown the symbol of their patriotism some two decades without any problems.

“We're proud of being Americans. We’ve always flown our flag out front. We replaced it with an old flag. He was talking to a neighbor, four doors down who said ours was stolen last night, too,” says Doliner.

Their Golf Crest Circle neighbor, Carolyn Harlowe, posted on Nextdoor that their flag had been swiped: “Large American flags on display in two front lawns in the 13000 block of Golf Crest Circle were stolen and noticed this morning. My flags up for almost 20 years. Why? Senseless! CAPT J. Harlowe (0-6 ret.) I have reported this information to the police. Description of person involved – Hair: idiots!”

There’s now an empty flag holder on their front tree.

Neighbors say adding to the outrage, the flag-nappers stole from Harlowe's husband, who served his country and is a retired military captain.

“It represents the United States, and we are supposed to be united,” says neighbor Cindi Mesger.

“I would love to have it back, but mostly please stop! Don't do that again. Don't take anyone else's flag. Don’t take anything that is so valuable to all of us,” says Doliner.

Neighbors say they reported the missing flags.

Investigators tell 10News that stealing a flag is a crime. It’s considered theft. It's a misdemeanor if the flag costs up to $300, more than $300 is a felony.

If you want to protect your flag from theft, there are some options: