Heartland Institute Building Vandalized, American and Gadsden Flags Burned

Published May 11, 2023

I always knew this day would come – the day some radical leftists decide to take their hatred of The Heartland Institute and its mission to advance freedom and turn it into “direct action.”

Last night someone burned the two flags we’ve had flying over this building since we purchased it in 2015. Here’s how it looks on a beautiful day in Northern Illinois:

And here’s how the flagpole and what’s left of the flags look on May 11, 2023:

One of the first things I googled when Heartland moved into this building was “how to remove spray paint graffiti from brick.” I haven’t had to do that yet, but now I will be googling “how to remove cooled molten nylon from metal and stone.”

When The Heartland Institute was headquartered in Downtown Chicago – as we were for most of our 39 years as an organization – we were sometimes the target of leftist “direct action.” Climate crazies even held a “die in” on the street at One South Wacker to protest our work to fight climate alarmism and promote climate science. That bit of street theater was actually rather amusing. I figured our conspicuous location in a Northwest Suburb of Chicago was an even easier target. But, until today, we had escaped having someone damage our property.

It will likely be impossible to catch the perpetrators since our security cameras do not point at our flag pole, but we have filed a police report just the same. The notion that this is a just “random” act of vandalism and arson is not plausible. Heartland was clearly targeted because of the public positions we take as a conservative think tank – and because we’re the most-prominent organization in the world combatting climate alarmism, as well as the insidious spread of socialism around the globe. We will not be intimidated or deterred.

The flag pole will soon be cleaned and repaired of the melted goo that used to be an American flag flying above a Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. We will get new flags – even bigger ones this time – and fly them proudly again.

Both the American flag and the historic Gadsden flag symbolize liberty and having the courage to stand up for your convictions. That’s what we do at The Heartland Institute, and why we will always proudly fly them at Heartland HQ.