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Mysterious American flag, with light, perched on top of tall pine tree can stay

A U.S. flag with a light shining on it that someone attached to the top of a large ponderosa pine tree on Fourth of July Pass will remain because it's too dangerous to remove, the U.S. Forest Service says.

"We have no idea how it got up there," Idaho Panhandle National Forest spokesman Jay Kirchner told the Coeur d'Alene Press in a story on Tuesday. "It's on the tip-top of the tree and I can't imagine it would hold the weight of a person holding onto it."

The flag and light attached with duct tape is atop a tree next to Interstate 90 in northern Idaho. The flag is illuminated at night, making it easily visible from the highway.

"To get up on that skinny part of the tree that high up would just be too risky"

- Jay Kirchner, a park spokesman, on any attempt to take down the flag

Kirchner said the agency sent professional tree climbers to remove it but the flag is so high and attached to such a small part of the tree an attempt couldn't be made.

"It's just too dangerous for them," Kirchner said. "To get up on that skinny part of the tree that high up would just be too risky. Since it's not hurting anything, we are going to leave it up there for now. It's not worth the risk."

Kirchner said the agency would prefer the flag and light be taken down at some point.

"We applaud and respect this individual's display of patriotism," Kirchner said. "But they did this on public land and we don't want more people putting up displays on public land."

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