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SUNOL, Calif. (KCBS) News of Caltrans painting over a giant American flag mural on the side of Interstate 680 has left many in an uproar.
The artist, along with his two friends, painted the mural on a concrete slab at the top of the Sunol Grade, just after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
“I got my two really good friends, Eric and Tom, and we talked about it over breakfast,” said artist R.J. Waldron. “I went and got the paint. We went up there around 4:30-5:00 in the morning and started painting it.”
But now, Caltrans has painted over the mural, which is on state property.
Governor Schwarzenegger has issued an apology, calling the timing of the removal just before the Fourth of July holiday unconscionable.
Waldron said he has received offers of donations for paint supplies.
“We’ve literally had a hundred offers for assistance,” he said.
The trio now also has a Facebook page called “Bring back the Sunol Grade American Flag.” And Waldron said this issue reaches beyond 9-11.
“People who have families that are in the armed forces past and present,” he said. “I think it really affects them too.”
The friends plan to go through the proper channels to get the flag repainted and are considering an offer from a Southern California man who has volunteered to strip back the Caltrans paint to reveal the original mural, so it can be retouched.