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Vandalism at Skowhegan business results in wave of colorful community support

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (WABI) - An act of vandalism at a Skowhegan business has resulted in a wave of colorful support from the community.

“I think it was a little bit of anger a little bit of shock, and it was heartbreaking,” said Jessica Stetson, Old Soul Collective owner.

On Saturday morning, Stetson arrived to her business on Water Street in Skowhegan to find the storefront had been vandalized.

“The Pride flag along with the flag pole had been ripped from the side of the building,” Stetson said.

The flag had been hanging without incident since she opened her vintage furniture and clothing store, Old Soul Collective, on May 1.

“That flag stands for a lot more than just Pride, it’s a symbol for everyone that comes in here they’re safe, they’re loved, and they’re welcome here,” Stetson said.

A community member soon donated a replacement flag but Stetson hoped the original would be returned.

“Put a letter out there just letting someone know if they wanted to return the flag wouldn’t ask questions, no charges would be pressed. Luckily someone found it, but we still don’t know who did it,” Stetson said.

Equality Maine donated 10 more flags for other businesses and organizations to put up in support, which they have.

“Those are gone, we ordered more. We’re hoping to supply the downtown area for whoever wants to display it,” Stetson said. “This one selfish hateful act has really turned into a big positive movement for the entire downtown. We’re going to rise up and we’re going to come back tenfold. It’s a nice feeling, I’m very proud of our community right now.”

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