It's a good thing vigilante committees in the Old West went the way of the six-shooter (which is to say, they're still around. You just don't seem them very often.)

The damage can be repaired, and our pride in it won't be much hurt by this episode. It just raises our level of indignation and disgust.

"This is everybody's flag," said Ayarbe. "This belongs to all good Americans."

As Carson City's tribute to the heroes and victims of Sept. 11, the C Hill flag also carries a special meaning beyond the significance of most other flags.

We can't think of a more fitting punishment than making the culprit hike the hill and, as Ayarbe suggested, help repair and maintain it.

It would be an appropriate act of community service. And if we're informed of the time this service is to be performed, all the residents of Carson City can turn their binoculars and telescopes to C Hill to make sure the vandal gives the flag a proper salute, as well.


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