A PRIDE flag hoisted by Ludgershall Town Council (LTC) in the town's war memorial garden has been cut down and stolen by two 'homophobic' residents following a social media debate.

CCTV footage captured a man and woman taking the flag down on Monday night, June 3, and the incident has been reported to the police as a hate crime, LTC said in a Facebook post.

"They were clearly caught on CCTV, and have been reported to the police for this hate crime, along with the abuse on Facebook from other Ludgershall residents, which has been directed at LTC and the diverse community of Ludgershall," the town council said in a Facebook post.

"LTC really wanted to show they were a progressive council in a progressive town but it seems we have a way to go."

READ MORE: Residents upset with Ludgershall Town Council's pride flag

A police spokesperson said: "We have received a report that the progressive Pride flag outside of the Ludgershall Town Council offices, which was flying to mark Pride Month, was cut down between 7.30pm and 8.15pm on June 3.

"The male suspect was driving a silver Honda Accord and used ladders from a nearby work van to access the flagpole. Damage was caused to the pole and rope structure. Enquiries are currently ongoing. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote crime reference number 54240064681."

The theft and the damage follow an earlier debate on social media, where some residents expressed offence at the flag's presence at the war memorial garden. Some of the residents said the flag 'disrespected' those who fell in war.

But, a few other residents defended the council’s decision and pointed out that gay people served in both World Wars and they deserved to be remembered.

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The council defended its decision and said it was shocked to read the 'horrible' messages put on Facebook regarding putting the progressive pride flag up on the new flag pole.

The council said the flagpole’s location in the war memorial garden was chosen for aesthetic reasons, and not to disrespect the memorial itself.

"LTC are trying to be a diverse and more progressive council and therefore along with many other councils around the UK agreed to fly the progressive pride flag," it said in a previous statement.