Brian Carney, 55, who returned the flags to Joliet Junior College this week with the blessings of his co-conspirators, said the men have taken good care of the flags, a U.S. flag and a bicentennial flag, since they rowed a canoe along a creek onto the school's campus in July 1976 and made off with them, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
"We cherished them and took care of them," Carney said. "The flags meant something to us and we knew eventually they had to be returned."
Carney said he and his fellow pranksters wanted to set a good example for their children by returning the pilfered flags.
Celebrity Families of 2014 [PHOTOS]