PORTSMOUTH — When Yalcin Kaya opened Kaffee Vonsolln in 2010, he hung a German flag outside so people would know it is a German coffee shop.
It is in fact the only specifically German coffee shop in the Northeast, Kaya said.
Germans are not ones to display shows of patriotism, he said. Shows of nationalism have actually been frowned upon since the end of World War II, and until the World Cup of soccer in 2006, flags did not fly from homes or vehicles in Germany as they do in the United States.
“The flag is not up there because I’m patriotic or anything, it is just to let people know this is a German coffeehouse,” Kaya said. “It is just informative. It lets you know what’s going on.”
So Kaya is baffled as to why someone would steal his flag not once, but twice within a one-week period.
Kaffee Vonsolln is on Daniel Street, across from the Federal Building and near several bars and pubs.
When the flag first disappeared on a Tuesday, Kaya assumed it was just somebody out drunk. So, he ordered a new flag.
But when he came into work the following Saturday to see the entire fixture holding the flag had been damaged, and the flag stolen, it more than ruined his day.
Kaya said he is not taking the theft personally, but does find it curious.
“I have been here for two years, why is it suddenly disappearing twice,” Kaya said.
To try and determine the cause of the theft, Kaya said he even checked the Olympic standings to see if Germany had ousted the United States in any big events.
“And no way, Germany is way behind in everything,” Kaya said. “I really can’t tell what’s going on.”
He said he did not think it was a coincidence and called the police, just to let them know.
Kaya said he never imagined the theft would draw the kind of media attention it has, and it is not exactly the kind of publicity he would like.
Kaya said he just wants whoever stole his flag to stop doing it.
To ensure this, Kaya has started taking the flag in at night when the shop closes at 6 p.m.
He said this may hurt his business, as the flag helped people to stop and notice the German coffee shop.