By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An arsonist’s brazen act to a Wissinoming family’s beloved American flag has authorities searching and a homeowner in shock. Robert Stewart’s family is full of veterans, making the American flag that flies outside his Hegerman Street home even more sentimental.

The symbol waved for more than 25 years before Saturday when it went up in flames.

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“I could see the flames,” Stewart tells Eyewitness News, saying he saw the flag burning through a front window.

Robert Stewart’s family is full of veterans, making the American flag that flies outside his Hegerman Street home even more sentimental.

According to the family, the suspect lit the flag around 2:45 a.m. not once but twice. Stewart caught the act on security camera.

“[He] stops, lights the flag, keeps walking. It must’ve not been burning fast enough for him, so he came back and lit it some more. Then he walked away,” he said.

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The flames spread to the front of the home and Robert’s son’s home next door.

Stewart’s home has been in the family for 40 years, making this an even more emotional blow.

The family hung a new flag up in the charred one’s place as they continue to rebuild. Stewart hopes it sends a message.

The family hung a new flag up in the charred one’s place as they continue to rebuild.

“You’re not going to deter me from flying the flag,” he says.

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Law enforcement continues to investigate and tells CBS3 many people have come forward saying they may recognize the suspect from the surveillance video.