ALBERTA

Flames Fan Roughed Up For Waving Flag (VIDEO)

04/20/2015 10:45 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 05:59 EDT
Season ticket holder James Young says the night started out great as he and a friend took in the Flames-Flyers matchup March 19.

Young brought his Flames flag, rolled up on a collapsible pole, ready to wave it when his team scored. Something he had done once before.

"I had an extender so I put it up, I waved it a few times, you know, everyone was cheering. As soon as you wave it a few times, you put it back down, you roll it back up, you sit down and it's all before they drop the puck."

But after a second goal in the third period, Young says an usher told him not to wave the fully extended flag - measuring about six to eight feet.

Young, who sometimes works at CBC Calgary as a camera operator, says he agreed.

He asked if he could still wave it, in a collapsed form — about three to four feet in length. He was told yes.

Young says after a third goal by the Flames, the head usher came by. Again Young says they talked and agreed he could wave it, if it was not fully extended.

Security response 'Ludicrous'

But things changed after the fourth goal, Young says. 

This time security asked for the flag. Young refused to hand it over. He asked if there had been a complaint to which he was told, no, it's just Saddledome policy.

Security then escorted him out to the top of the stairwell. And after refusing to hand over his flag again, Young says three security guards pushed him to the ground.

They then pried the pole away from Young, but not before tearing a tendon in his finger, a ligament in his thumb, ripping his pants, cuffing him and breaking his collapsible pole. 

"It was surreal, it was, it was ludicrous, over a flag. Sure they have the policy, but you go to any game in the Saddledome, whether it's the Flames, Hitmen, the Roughknecks, all owned by the same company, you will see flags every game," said Young.

Calgary police then stepped in but Young says he wasn't arrested or charged with anything.

Flames standing by response and policy

According to the Saddledome's website, flags and signs are not allowed to be on poles or sticks unless purchased from the Flames FanAttic stores.

And in an email, a spokesperson for the Calgary Flames says, "We are aware of the incident and fully support the measures taken by our security staff and the Calgary Police Services in this matter. For the safety, security and viewing enjoyment of all our patrons, we stand by our policy regarding the use of sticks, poles, banners and flags at the Scotiabank Saddledome. As with all policies, there is a reasonable test."

"It adds to the atmosphere. It's fun. As long as you know how to use it, you are respectful with it, conscious of the people around you." 

He says at the very least he'd like an apology, and reimbursement for his broken pole and ripped pants.