The gesture was an act of mourning. As they prepared for the closing of the historic Colony Beach & Tennis Resort after more than 40 years, longtime owner and Chairman Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber and his daughter, Colony President and General Manager Katie Klauber Moulton, lowered the property’s flag to half-staff.
But for some residents, that decision didn’t fly.
Longboat Key Town Hall received at least three calls from residents who were upset about the lowered flag. And, on Saturday, Aug. 28, Moulton reported to Longboat Key police that the flag had been stolen.
“It could have been any number of things,” Moulton said. “It could have been someone taking it as a memento. It could be someone who felt it wasn’t appropriate to have the flag at half-staff.”
According to Town Clerk Trish Granger, one caller wanted to know if the flag was lowered in honor of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who died Aug. 9 in a plane crash. Granger said that the callers wanted to know if the town had the authority to order the flag to be returned to full staff.
“One gentleman who called said that it was inappropriate that the American flag was flown lower than the Colony flag,” Granger said. “We can’t confirm what people do with their flags.”
Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle agreed that the town did not have the authority to order the flag be flown at full staff.
“I’m not aware of any regulations that we would enforce it on from the town, city, county on up,” he said.
Moulton said that the decision to lower the flag was a difficult one for her and her father, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in the Korean War.
“If we offended someone, we’re very sorry,” Moulton said. “But if somebody took it just to be spiteful, that’s not right.”
Moulton told police that the flag had an approximate monetary value of $50.
“It wasn’t about the cost but about the fact that it obviously was taken,” she said.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].