Steve and his family spent a great many years stationed in Germany. When he brought us this piece to frame, we were very excited! He initially said he ‘found it laying on the ground’:
The plaque was obtained during the summer of 1986 from the East/West German border, in the area that fell under the responsibility of the 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, guarding the “Frontiers of Freedom”.
Inside the German border there were concrete posts, referred to as “barber striped” (Due to the black, red and gold colors) poles with the plaques attached that indicated that you were now in East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)). It was rumored that there were explosive charges behind the plaques to prevent them from being removed. I did not believe the rumor. During a midnight patrol along the border, I decided to test the rumor, and took an eighteen inch screwdriver, and stood behind the pole and pried the plaque from the pole. I was not aware of how it was fastened to the pole, and applied too much pressure to the wrong area portion of the plaque. As I was prying it made a pinging sound as it came loose and a portion remained on the pole. This particular plaque was removed from the barber stripe pole near Observation Post (OP) Romeo Forward.
We used 2 different colors of the same moulding, black with yellow edges and black with red edges, and combined them to make a shape containing both the sign and the flag without leaving empty space in the corners.
Steve sent us a photo from that border to share: