A giant American flag that was a fixture in Johnson City for more than a decade has disappeared.

Village residents and motorists on Route 17 in recent months have been wondering what happened to the stars and stripes they'd been accustomed to seeing since it was first raised on a 150-foot pole in 2002.

The pole actually is a cell phone tower used by AT&T. A tower industry insider said the facility recently was acquired by Crown Castle International Corporation.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie said the village leases the Brown Street site to the tower owners.

The flag has been missing for several weeks. Deemie said workers have been trying to "retrofit an electronic panel" on the pole which had been repeatedly damaged by the large flag.

The mayor said "until a fix is found the flag will not be put back up."

Deemie said the flag itself was getting old and was in need of replacement. He said a new flag has been ordered.

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