If the Petaluma skyline looks different today it may be because the iconic Dairyman's Feed & Supply Co. is missing its American flag.
The flag was the second one to be stolen from the 108-rooftop in six months, leaving the folks who work at the co-op on East Washington Street to wonder why.
"It upsets you — you know? — to think that someone is stealing the flag. And for what purpose?" Office Manager Clarette McDonald asked.
The 11-story, 1937 feed mill and grain elevator towers over downtown Petaluma and dominates the skyline even as it provides a reminder of the city's long agricultural traditions.
The 10-by-15-foot flag was not only stolen but slashed — just like last time — from the metal rings through which it was strung to the roof-top flag pole atop grain storage silos, police said.
Being cut from its moorings seems somehow even more offensive to McDonald, who called it "heart wrenching that people would do that to our flag."
Someone had to have broken into the building, climbed up to the roof through the feed mill, and done the dastardly deed, she and police said.
Folks coming into work Tuesday morning saw only that the flag was gone - taken some time between 8 p.m. Monday and 7:52 a.m. Tuesday.
The last flag theft occurred in the midst of a series of break-ins, apparently when someone climbed a fence and broke in through a side window, McDonald said.
That window has since had bars welded over it.
It's unclear how the thieves got in this time, she said.