Five years later, the Olympic flag is still missing and unaccounted for

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      Like today, it was also a Tuesday five years ago when unidentified people crossed the lawn of Vancouver city hall in the early hours of March 6, 2007.

      They pried open an access panel to a flagpole, cut the metal cable inside it, and brought down what they came for: the Olympic flag.

      The next day, a group identifying itself as the Native Warriors Society claimed responsibility.

      “We claim this action in honour of Harriet Nahanee, our elder-warrior, who was given a death sentence by the B.C. courts for her courageous stand in defending Mother Earth,” the warriors said in a statement released on March 7, 2007.

      They defiantly declared: “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!”

      Except for a photo released by the Native Warrior Society, the flag hasn’t been seen since.

      A few days before the fifth year anniversary of this daring raid, the Straight asked one prominent anti-Olympics activist what he has heard regarding the flag.

      Chris Shaw, a UBC professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was among the more prominent critics of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and he moves in a number of activist circles.

      Now he just wishes that he has the flag. “If I had it, I’d fly it from my balcony, but no I don’t,” Shaw said in a phone interview.

      He added that he didn’t take it because he was in Ghana at that time.

      “The rumour I had heard, and again this is going back to you before the Olympics—it was a couple of years after the flag was taken—was that because it could be something that one could be charged for, it was destroyed,” Shaw said. “That’s what I heard.”

      Whatever happened to the flag, Shaw tips his hat to the people who took it.

      “They have big brass balls,” Shaw said.

      Related article: Flag theft linked to history