Canadians charged in U.S. flag desecration -

Canadians charged in U.S. flag desecration

California men accused of replacing American flag with Canadian one after Crosby’s Olympic goal


Two Canadian ex-pats living in California have been charged with vandalizing an American flag shortly after Sidney Crosby scored the gold-medal winning goal in the Olympic men’s hockey final. Ryan Smith and Matt Siefert are accused of replacing an American flag flying atop a mountain with a Canadian one. The stars-and-stripes had been planted atop Point Happy mountain by Mayte Sterling shortly after 9/11to honour the attack’s victims as well as soldiers fighting overseas. According to Sterling’s son, the flag that was taken down was found torn and buried under nearby rocks. Smith and Siefert are facing misdemeanor charges of vandalism and flag desecration and could be punished by up to a year in jail.

Palm Springs Desert Sun

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Canadians charged in U.S. flag desecration

  1. Yanks are all insane. This foolishness over a silly piece of cloth is laughable.

    • I disagree with you. The police were right to charge these guys. I could at least see the joke if they took the U.S. flag down for an hour and replaced it with the Canadian one. Then put the U.S. flag back up. But to deface the American flag on American soil in favour of some other country's flag? That is outrageous.

      • I agree.. Joke or not, you never mess around with a country's flag…very poor taste and a sign of ignorance.!

      • Bingo.

    • Yanks are all insane

      I'm sure that you don't believe that, why type it?

      This foolishness over a silly piece of cloth is laughable.

      Mostly agree with that. Jail time would be out of proportion to the crime; they should pay the (prorated) cost of the replacement, and then all parties should move on.

      • I disagree. Desecrating a flag is worse than ordinary vandalism.

        They should pay for the replacement, but also face either jail time or significant community service, and offer a public apology.

        I can understand replacing the flag atop the mountain for a few hours in good fun, but if you're going to do something like that you make damn sure to treat the flag you're taking down with proper respect.

        • I was making an allowance (see post below from noname) that the gents in question did not actually desecrate the US flag as a part of their prank.. If they did, then I would support the community service option that you mentioned.

          My main point was that jail time should be reserved for a very select group of offenders; vandals, practical jokers and even flag desecrators don't belong in jail. In general we should be looking for alternative sentences for most crimes, sentences that don't involve jail time.

          • Even if they didn't tear it up, you never put a flag "under a few rocks". It's not even supposed to touch the ground.

            They desecrated the flag of their hosts. Probably just ignorance, but that's their problem. They should face the consequences.

          • Hmmmm, interesting.

            My sanctions for this prank involve restitution, but you seem to prefer violence

          • If your definition of "violence" includes sports, then yes in this case I prefer violence. Sometimes a good ass-kicking really is the answer.

          • Sports, I see, I didn't realize that we were talking about a sporting event to resolve this incident.

            I thought that when you proposed making them each go 10 rounds in the ring with a US Marine combat vet, making sure the Marine knows what they did beforehand. your intent was to have the two vandals get pummeled to within an inch of their lives; I call that violence.

            But if you actually mean that they would match the two vandals up with opponents who are roughly equally capable boxers, put them in the ring for 10 rounds, and then see who is the better fighter, well OK, then I suppose that we might be able to call that a sporting event.

            Not 100% sure, but I'm going to guess that the ass-kicking you support is closer to the former than the latter.

            I'll just add that soccer, baseball, volleyball and ringette are examples of activities that I call sports. Boxing, the latest mixed martial arts craze and similar activities? Not so much.

          • Boxing is a sport, yes.

            "beaten within an inch of their lives", no. Have you ever met a professional Marine? In general they're not the sort to do something like that to a defenseless victim, although I realize Hollywood and the media tend to portray things otherwise.

            I'm suggesting they box until either 10 rounds are up or one man is out cold. Those of us who've done this know it's not the brutality that panty-waists often think it is, and it's a good way to knock some common sense into someone who has no concept of respect for things like a flag.

          • I do realize that this next question is not directly relevant, but nevertheless, I'll toss it your way because it ties into a different thread from a day or two ago: What would Scalia say? ;-)

  2. There was an earlier report that the flag is replaced every 6 months because it becomes heavily damaged by the wind… No doubt the guys who replaced the flag put it under a few rocks so it wouldn't blow away.. but it had already suffered vandalism by the wind and they blame it on these guys…. americans need to grow up.

    Every time I visit the US I run into ignorant people who are just looking for an excuse to sue or cause trouble. Example: a car didn't see us crossing the road right away and had to stop suddenly (about 6 feet away – no biggie)… the guy walking in front said "hit me, i need the money".. that thought never even crossed my mind…

    Not to mention americans expect us to know all of their states and major cities (which most canadians do) – yet they don't even know what a province is… "whats that like a state"…

  3. It was a joke in the heat of the moment. Should they apologize, absolutely! Criminal charges are crazy.

  4. Canada FTW!!!!! lol i guess they should be shot though, for such a heinous treason!!……not!! a flag is only a piece of cloth. just as a cross is only a piece of metal or wood. try standing for what it represents besides simply defending the symbol. they can burn all the flags and destroy all the sacred artifacts because in the end i wont lose any sleep cause those thing cant be burned out of my soul. not that im patriotic or religious or anything. anywayz, way to make canada look bad dudes!!

  5. Great prank! I hold dual citizenship and love both countries. What I love about Canada is that they would go ahead and do that sort of thing AND they would be the first to forgive an American for doing the same.

  6. Of course, had these boys been foreign born Muslims and witnessed burning the American flag on the streets of some US city they'd be untouchable by the courts. Sad to see the Yanks have the same two tiered judiciary that we do.

    • Unotuchable by the courts: send them to Gitmo, then?

  7. Morons. At the very least it's a display of extremely bad manners. A year in jail is severe, but maybe they'll be lucky and the judge will just give them a few months.

  8. Proud to be canadian, thank god im not from the USA, those flag burners did the right thing, cant wait to do it too

  9. Number one, I know these guys. They had no idea that the American flag was there to honour the victims of 9/11. When they went to the top of the hill, there were no plaques or signs, just a worn out, ripped and torn american flag that was hardly recognizable. They did not burn the flag, they buried it out of respect. They apologized profusely. But I remember a time when the Blue Jays won the world series but before the game commenced, during open ceremonies, the Americans paraded into the middle of the skydome with the Canadian flag hanging upside down. They apologized. Canada forgave. No charges laid.