New Plymouth engineering company loses rag over missing flags

ITL Engineering have had five flags stolen from the front of its New Plymouth offices. From left are employees Juan ...
Fairfax NZ

ITL Engineering have had five flags stolen from the front of its New Plymouth offices. From left are employees Juan Gutierrez (Colombia), Jun Lamorena (Phillipines), Andrea Connor (New Zealand), German Jara (Chile) and Josue Hernandez (Venezuela).

Five flags have been flogged from a New Plymouth engineering company, leaving staff fuming.

ITL Engineering administrator Andrea Connor said the national symbols of Sri Lanka, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and New Zealand had been taken in the brazen raid, leaving each five metre high flagpole stationed outside of the company's Strandon offices bare.

"They were all flying beautifully until somebody thought they needed them more than we did," Connor said.

She said the thief had been meticulous in taking down the flags, carefully cutting the cable ties and leaving the ropes undamaged, a feat which will have taken some time and planning.

But despite the business being located on one of New Plymouth's main thoroughfares no-one appeared to have noticed the crime until staff turned up to work the following day.

Connor said the only other time the flags had gone walk-about was after they had been blown off due to high winds but they had always been promptly returned by nearby residents.

Connor said she hoped those responsible for the theft might have a change of heart and return them, no questions asked, to ITL's Devon St East office.

"It would be lovely if someone could be nice enough to give them back." 

The emblems were part of a collection of flags Connor maintained on behalf of the company.  Along with 25 national flags from countries around the world, an All Blacks banner and the Taranaki colours are included in the assortment.

She said flying the flags of the different nationalities of people who have worked at the company was one way to show respect to them and to also demonstrate to others the  multi-culturalism of  ITL's workforce.

"We want to show that we have a good cross-section of people that work here."

Each flag was worth about $50 and Connor said the flagpoles would remain barren until a better way to secure them was devised.

For Chilean employee German Jara,  the stolen flags had been a kick in the guts for some of the workers.

The mechanical engineering manager said flags were important national symbols and often took on more meaning when you lived far away from home.

 - Stuff

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