The Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building is set to hoist a state flag that was once flown over the California state Capitol, thanks to a gift from a state senator.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, presented the California flag to American Legion Post 125 member Don Ramirez during a brief exchange Thursday at the Vets Building. The flag was gifted to the American Legion post to replace the previous state flag, which was apparently stolen about a year ago.

Also in attendance for the flag donation was Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl and Ken Ostini, a veteran and former head of the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s great to know we have politicians who are willing to help the veterans groups in the Veterans Building,” Ramirez said Tuesday.

Ramirez said that caretakers at the Vets Building were perplexed when they first realized that the California flag, as well as the flag stand and pole, were missing.

“We couldn’t understand it,” he said.

“We looked all over the building,” he added, before he said they ultimately deduced that someone must have been brazen enough to just take it.

Ramirez said it was about a month ago that he reached out to former Lompoc Mayor Joyce Howerton, a representative of Jackson, to ask about possibly replacing the flag. He was pleased with the response.

“They jumped right on it,” he said of Howerton and Jackson.

Ramirez said he has placed orders for a new stand and pole, and is looking forward to raising the flag upon their arrival.

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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