Eleven American flags flown as a tribute to troops serving in Operation Desert Storm were stolen from Park Lane Elementary in Sandy on Friday.

"A lot of people put in a lot of time getting those flags up," principal Denney L. Berrett said. More than 80 flags, all of them borrowed from a local Scout troop, had adorned the front of the school at 9955 South 2300 E.The 11 turned up missing about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Berrett said it was difficult to explain to children why someone would steal the flags. "We've tried to teach our students the meaning and responsibilities of freedom, and then for someone to turn around and steal from us . . . they just can't understand," he said.

If the flags are not recovered, Berrett said the school "would find a way" to replace them for the Scout troop.

Anyone with information can contact the Sandy Police Department.