Nationals ban Cubs fans 'W' flags, troll them with 'L' flag

After losing Game 1 of the National League Division Series to the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals made a few adjustments for Game 2. Those weren’t just limited to the field, where their offense finally broke through on home runs from Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, leading them to a series tying 6-3 win. It extended to the stands too, where ballpark security confiscated Cubs fans “W” flags as they entered the ballpark.

Numerous Cubs fans took to Twitter to take the Nationals to task for this decision. Some even warned fellow fans to leave their flags in the car so it wouldn’t be confiscated.

The good news is that fans got their flags back after the game. All they had to do was fill out some paperwork and retrieve it from flag jail.

What’s funny though is the Nationals seemed to have no problem when one of their fans unfurled a Cubs-style “L” flag right after the game.

Talk about some high-level trolling.

Two things to note here.

First, Cubs flags were all over the ballpark during Game 1 despite some violating restrictions that were noted by the Washington Post on Saturday. Many of those went unchecked, according to fans attending both games. That means the Nationals decided to crack down in the 18 hours or so hours between games, perhaps after seeing their stadium filled with Cubs fans on Friday night.

Beyond that, there’s no mention of flags being banned outright under the Nationals Park Guest Conduct Policy. Banners, signs and flags are allowed, save for those deemed to obstruct the view of other fans or those that don’t meet the 2 feet by 4 feet measurement requirement. It leaves a lot up to interpretation and on Saturday at least had ballpark employees doing a lot of measuring.

The policy is different than Dodger Stadium, where Cubs flags were confiscated during last season’s NLCS. The Dodgers have a long-standing policy in place banning signs, banners and flags of any kind at Dodger Stadium. That leaves no room for questioning.

Cubs fans fly the ‘W’ flag during a playoff game in 2016. (AP)
Cubs fans fly the ‘W’ flag during a playoff game in 2016. (AP)

The Nationals could argue the flags were a distraction to fans during Friday’s game. There were enough of them there that it’s inevitable a few weren’t well place. But there doesn’t seem to be much consistency here.

It came across more salty than constructive. But don’t worry about Cubs fans. You can take their flags away, but their voices will remain strong. You can bet they’ll be heard loud and clear when the series heads to Chicago on Monday.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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