Rob Yonick is sick and tired of people stealing his Canadian flag from outside his Yorktown home. He doesn’t know who’s doing it, he doesn’t know why they’re doing it, but he wants it to stop.
Despite the thefts, Yonick says l’Unifolié will still be proudly displayed for all to see this weekend, in time for the epic U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey matchup on Sunday.
“I’m going to put a flag in the window,” he said defiantly, adding that “there’s no doubt” Canada, backed by Pittsburgh Penguins star and Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby, will defeat the American team.
Yonick, a stout Canadian Embassy employee, first had his beloved Maple Leaf stolen this past Columbus Day. He chalked it up to misplaced patriotic fervor.
Undeterred, Yonick bought two new flags — a Canadian flag and an American flag — and bolted each flag to a column outside his stately N. Columbus St. house.
Earlier this week, the American flag disappeared, leaving only a bare, mangled flagpole. Then at some point on Thursday, the Canadian flag vanished, flagpole and all, leaving Yonick flummoxed.
“I don’t know if it’s kids playing a prank, or someone who doesn’t like Canada,” he said. After writing about it on Facebook, a friend suggested the Olympics might have something to do with it, a theory Yonick says is possible but unlikely.
Police — who Yonick called out of concern that a neighborhood trend might be developing (a neighbor’s car got paintballed a little while back) — had a different hypothesis. They determined that the American flag was improperly displayed. It was placed on the same level as the Canadian flag and to the left. It should have been flown to the right, or above the Canadian flag, they explained. Perhaps that was why someone thought to rip each flag down, officers mused.
Yonick wasn’t sure about that. He speculated that the perp was likely just “a drunk guy” who was, at that very moment, “running around somewhere with the Canadian flag.”
Even though his benevolent Canadian demeanor was being tested, Yonick said the thefts would not result in an international incident. Instead of exerting diplomatic pressure, he’s now plotting ways to outsmart the thieves.
“They won’t beat me,” he said. “The flags will go back up, bolted down and stronger than before.”
And if that doesn’t work, Yonick said, security cameras may come next.