The iconic butter cow, sculpted meticulously every year at the Iowa State Fair, was doused with red paint early Sunday. Vandals also used the paint to scrawl "Freedom For All" on its glass enclosure.
As The Des Moines Register reports, the tradition of the butter cow goes back to 1911. And you may remember that the lady who sculpted those cows for 46 years died back in 2011 at the age of 81.
As the paper reports, an animal rights group called Iowans for Animal Liberation took responsibility for the vandalism, but sculptor Sarah Pratt had fixed the cow up before the fair opened Sunday morning. The paper adds:
"Officials can't recall the butter cow ever being defaced, though someone made a failed attempt to place a note on the cow a few years ago. The note slipped off the the slick surface.
"'That didn't work so well,' Chappell said."
That's Lori Chappell, the marketing director of the Iowa State Fair.
If you've been paying attention, this isn't the first American icon to be vandalized recently.
The Lincoln Memorial and the organ at the National Cathedral in Washington were splattered with green paint back in July.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.