AHWATUKEE, Ariz. - Brian Ellison, and his wife Lisa, were asleep Wednesday night when someone set the veteran's flag on fire.
"The flag means to me that this is our country," said Lisa. "This is what our service men and women died for."
The Ellisons live in a quiet, nice Ahwatukee neighborhood. The flag was hanging above the driveway.
"The flag means everything to me," said Brian, a veteran. "When you say your oath in front of that flag and when we lose a service member or a veteran dies we put it on their casket."
Brian noticed the patriotic symbol that’s been hanging above this driveway for years was gone Thursday morning.
"I looked back in my rear view mirror and noticed something," he said.
"He came in and got me and said, 'You have got to come here. This is insane,'" she said. "I thought, 'Oh Lord, he’s going to show me a snake or a scorpion.'"
What he showed her was a tattered and blackened American flag laying on the driveway.
"There’s two big pieces that you feel when you see something like that," the Marines veteran said. "You’re sad, and you’re mad. There's not a lot that you can do about either one of them. So I came home and put another flag up."
Below the new hanging Star-Spangled Banner is black remnants etched in the cement, a permanent reminder that the Ellison’s take incredibly personal.
"I think everybody needs to find a different way to protest," he said. "If you want to sit down for the national anthem, that’s your right, it doesn’t make it right. If you want to show your frustration by protesting and burning a flag, I guess it’s your right -- not if it’s on my house -- but just because it’s your right, doesn’t make it right."
Phoenix Police did file a report but none of the neighbors have security cameras where the flag is visible. If you have any information, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.