Setting up surveillance cameras at the historic Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, New York, officials vowed to catch the unpatriotic culprits.
Several days later, the scoundrels were revealed - although punishing them for their crimes might prove to be a problem.
The cemetery vandals are none other than Cedar Park's own resident woodchucks, who managed to pilfer 75 miniature American flags in the days leading up to the country's Independence Day celebrations.
Punxsutawney Phil and his furry cronies swiped up to 17 flags a night, leaving the telltale scraps of evidence in their burrows.
The town's mayor told local news sources that the flags were coated in a substance that attracts woodchucks, and that similar incidents had been reported in other municipalities.
We still might not know how much wood a woodchuck can chuck, but at least we've answered the flag-eating question...
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"And there's going to be six more weeks of winter too. Bwahahahaha!"