The owner of a pizzeria in New Paltz, New York, said protesters vandalized the American flag mural painted on the side of her building because they believed it represented "a political position."

Maria Lisante, who owns La Bella Pizza Bistro, said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Friday that the protesters were "opposed" to the flag and thus defaced the mural.

"They didn't want a flag. They thought that it meant a political position and they were opposed," Lisante said.

The initial proposal for the mural came under fire late last month, but a handful of protesters gathered at an "appreciation walk" for the painting.


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New York state corrections officer and Army National Guard veteran Joey Garcia organized the appreciation walk and said Friday that the event was peaceful.

He said that he was labeled by some of the protesters and called names for organizing the walk.

"I tried to explain, 'Hey, you guys have the right to be out here, so do we. Let's keep it peaceful.' They really didn't want to hear any of that," he said.

A GoFundMe donation page for the mural initially had a goal of raising $8,000 but has since increased to more than $12,000 following the vandalism.

Lisante wrote that the growing donations will "help fund paint, materials, future maintenance and display lighting to increase visibility" for the mural.


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