A family heirloom is still missing. A Nazi Swastika flag signed by surviving American prisoners of war was displayed in the Pickaway County Veterans’ Service building for years before it disappeared late in 2014.
Pickaway County Sheriff investigator Lt. Dale Parish said as repulsive as the Nazi flag might seem to some, this signed one is a tribute to the perseverance of those men who survived that awful ordeal.
World War II Lt. and former POW Ernest “Snap” Ankrom donated the flag to the veterans’ services shortly before his death in 2009.
It was signed by men of his company he helped protect during their captivity.
“We thought it was safe there at Veterans’ Services,” said his daughter, Sandy Ankrom Williams. “I thought if someone wanted to take it down, they would have contacted me. They all know who I am.”
It hung for 4-5 years, then disappeared shortly before former veterans’ services director Rebecca Lee was fired for unauthorized credit card use and storing veterans’ files at her home.
Investigators have video shot by the Circleville community TV station, CG TV Channel-9.
Sandra Williams addresses the board and asked Lee where the flag went. She explains her estranged husband took it from their home.
“Did he take it from this office?” the board director asked Lee.
“No, he took it. It is in my home,” she responded. “It is in the minutes that we brought it to the board’s attention that we had to take it out of the office because we were offending people.”
Lee told Williams her father told her to keep it and not give it back to the Ankrom family because someone there would just sell it on eBay.
Williams disputed that, saying her 88-year-old father would not even know what eBay was.
Lt. Parish said they are continuing to investigate and are also checking military souvenir shows around the country to see if it surfaces.
“I would like to know where it is at,” he said. “Even if it is gone, I would just like to know where it is gone to.”
Experts say the flag has both valuable as an antique and heirloom, but no one is willing to put a price on it.
An unrelated court hearing on hearing Wednesday afternoon will decide whether several veterans’ board members committed misconduct when they held a closed-door meeting days before the director was fired.