Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville man jailed in flap over Canadian flag at country club

The flags of the United States and Canada fly at equal height outside the Brookridge Country Club on Tuesday. That’s just how the flags of nations at peace should be flown, according to the U.S. Flag Code.

RON THOMPSON | Times

The flags of the United States and Canada fly at equal height outside the Brookridge Country Club on Tuesday. That’s just how the flags of nations at peace should be flown, according to the U.S. Flag Code.

BROOKSVILLE — Walter Fallica had been slowly steaming for weeks.

Every time the self-proclaimed disabled veteran saw the flag of Canada flying at the same height as the Stars and Stripes outside the Brookridge Country Club pro shop, his national pride felt bruised.

He complained several times, but nothing was done.

He took matters into his own hands Monday and tried to haul down the Canadian maple leaf.

He insisted the U.S. flag should be flown higher.

He was wrong.

Fallica, 62, of Brooksville, was arrested Monday and charged with criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence. He remained in the Hernando County Jail Tuesday afternoon in lieu of a $200 bond.

According to an arrest report, Fallica came into the lobby of the community center at Brookridge about 9:30 a.m. to complain about the flags. Witnesses said he was using vulgar language and "yelling and screaming very loudly."

He then burst into a closed-door meeting in the building, and was soon asked to leave. Fallica told the center's security captain that he couldn't make him leave and threatened to "split (the captain's) face open" if he touched him.

About three hours later, Fallica called the country club and said he was prepared to take down the Canadian flag. Within a few minutes, witnesses reported seeing Fallica walking toward the flagpole with a stick in his hand.

He allegedly took a knife out of his pocket and cut the rope that holds the flag.

When the club's administrative assistant, Cindy Claytor, told him that he couldn't do that, he cursed her and started walking in the direction of the home of a person where he'd had an earlier argument about the flag, the report states.

Deputies soon found Fallica near the home, where he admitted to cutting down the flag and said he was willing "to die for this cause." Told that he was going to be arrested, Fallica put up a struggle before being subdued by three deputies.

Witnesses told deputies that Fallica had come into the community center at least three or four times previously, screaming and cursing at staff members and residents of the community. The security captain said he was worried Fallica might "snap" and harm one of the residents.

Fallica wasn't the only resident of Brookridge to complain when the Canadian flag was raised in March outside the pro shop. Claytor said a group of residents from Canada pitched in to buy the flag and asked that it be raised next to the Stars and Stripes.

"We had quite a few complaints when we put the flag up," Claytor said Tuesday. "But they don't understand that we're flying the flags according to the U.S. Flag Code. People don't understand that."

According to the U.S. Flag Code, when flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate poles of the same height and the flags should be about the same size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

"It's a matter of miscommunication," Claytor said. "In Florida, we have a lot of Canadian snowbirds here and we're showing respect to them. The flag is up and flying right now."

Fallica wasn't available for comment Tuesday.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Brooksville man jailed in flap over Canadian flag at country club 05/12/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 11:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  2. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County

    Crime

    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Scaramucci on leaks: 'I'm going to fire everybody'

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump's new communications director, vowed Tuesday to purge the White House staff of disloyal aides in an effort to crack down on leaks, as another member of the press staff resigned from a West Wing reeling from an unfolding shake-up.

  4. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts

    Editorials

    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.

  5. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington

    Editorials

    The health care for millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.