By Brad Segall

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities in Doylestown are asking the public to be vigilant as they continue looking for the vandals who have desecrated American flags that are displayed throughout the borough.

The flags are attached to parking meters throughout town, a sign of respect for one of the symbols that represent our heritage and freedoms.

But recently, about a dozen flags have been ripped from their poles along Oakland Avenue near Hamilton and Clinton Streets.

Borough manager John Davis says they make a substantial investment in the flags, which are an annual tradition.

“They’re out from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July, which puts a lot of wear and tear on them,” he notes.  “They also go back out in the late fall for Veterans’ Day, so they don’t last many years.  So we’re in a constant state of replacing them.”

Just days before we celebrate America’s birthday, he says, they take this very seriously and don’t look at it as some kind of harmless prank.  Unfortunately, Davis adds, there are no surveillance cameras close by, so they need the public’s help to apprehend the vandal or vandals.