PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A shocking sight at an institution dedicated to the well-being of veterans.

Tattered flags found flying at the Aspinwall VA.

It’s especially meaningful for those in the nation’s military — so you can imagine how veterans felt when they saw a ripped up American flag flying at the Aspinwall VA, and another one nearby flown for who knows how long.

While we found plenty of flags that were in good shape out at the VA, the sight of two that were tattered and torn comes as a shock, particularly at an institution that’s dedicated to serving our veterans.

“When they look at that flag, they don’t see a piece of cloth. They see their country,” U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler Republican, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.

Kelly says what the VA did, inadvertently or not, is, well, just disrespectful.

“We know that flags will become tattered, we know that flags will become worn, but you take them down and dispose of them in the right way,” the congressman added. “You don’t let them up there ruffle in the wind or throw them in the garbage.”

“If your flag starts to get torn and worn, you should dispose of it,” said Jake Charles. “It’s just disrespectful to the country.”

Charles, a veteran in the National Guard who works for the Boy Scouts, knows flag etiquette.

“It always kind of disappoints me that people don’t understand the etiquette with the flags.”

After KDKA alerted the VA, they say they’ve replaced the flags — and urge the public to alert them to worn flags, adding, “We have the deepest respect for the flag, the nation that it represents, and the veterans who have served that nation.”

A good reminder as we approach the Fourth of July.

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