Business Owners Volunteer to Fix Tagged Flag Mural

Arts and CultureArtBarry White

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) -- Two Lancaster business owners volunteered to paint over graffiti on a Hollywood Hills mural of the American flag Sunday after hearing a call for help on the KTLA 5 Weekend News.

The mural -- painted on a retaining wall on La Punta Drive -- was intended to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City.

The residents of the neighborhood were disheartened when they realized the mural had been defaced by taggers Thursday.

"Shock was my first reaction," said resident Abe Porter. "I couldn't believe how disrespectful someone could be to destroy our flag."

After airing the story Sunday morning about 6:30 a.m. on the KTLA 5 Weekend News, anchors Chris Burrous and Wendy Burch put out a call for help to viewers, asking for someone to step forward and help paint over the graffiti.

Two men, living more than 60 miles away, heard the call and decided to come help.

Bart Avery, owner of Bravery Brewing Company, and Barry White, owner Carpeteria, both of Lancaster, knew they had to help.

"We are proud Americans," White said. "We saw the story, I called Bart (and said), 'We got a little mission here, buddy. We're going to Hollywood to paint a flag.' "

They also had the materials needed to do the job. Avery just finished painting a flag at his brewery, so he already had the paint needed to clean up the La Punta mural.

"When I heard about this (flag) this morning, I just jumped in the car and drove down here," Avery said.

As the KTLA 5 Weekend News ended at 9 a.m. Sunday, images played of White and Avery getting to work on cleaning up the flag.

And the residents who were so upset to see their neighborhood flag defaced, expressed their gratitude to the men who came forward to help.

"It just shows you that the people of this country are always out there and when they have to step up to the plate, they always come out," Porter said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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