PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A 35-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly uprooting American flags placed at Peoria’s airport to welcome veterans leaving on the Honor Flight.

Deputies with the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office were called to Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport just before 11 p.m. Monday on a report of a man pulling the flags up along the south side of the road as one comes into the airport property.

According to the report filed at the sheriff’s office, the man was seen walking in the 5300 block of West Everett McKinley Dirksen Parkway, which is near the Villas of Holly Brook assisted living facility.

The man told deputies he was trying to get a flight back to Washington D.C. and that he had found the flag on the side of the road. He was seen waving a single flag near a flag pole. Found in a backpack of his was a 9-inch knife and a small bag of marijuana. There were no other flags found on his person.

The man was booked into the Peoria County Jail for theft. As of late Tuesday afternoon, he had not been formally charged and had been released from the jail on a notice to appear later.

The flags had been placed out at the airport to greet veterans as they arrived for Tuesday’s Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C. It’s an all-volunteer effort to take veterans, free of charge, to the nation’s capital where they can visit the war memorials.