2 face charges of replacing US flag with Canada's after hockey win

RIVERSIDE — Authorities say two native Canadians will be charged with burying a U.S. flag flown in the California desert to honor 9/11 victims and replacing it with Canada's flag to celebrate an Olympic hockey victory.

Riverside County district attorney's spokesman John Hall said Friday that 25-year-old Ryan Smith of Bermuda Dunes and 26-year-old Matt Seifert of Palm Desert will be charged with misdemeanor vandalism and flag desecration.

The U.S. flag was placed on a La Quinta mountaintop shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Investigators say the men replaced it on Feb. 28 after Canada beat the U.S. to win the men's hockey gold medal.

Hall did not know if the men had hired an attorney, and there were no local phone listings in their names.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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