New England Patriots Fan Sues Team's HOF ... You Ruined My $1 Mil Tom Brady Flag!!!

A man is suing the New England Patriots Hall of Fame ... claiming it ruined his one-of-a-kind, Tom Brady signed American flag -- costing him potentially over $1 MILLION.

The guy's name is Daniel Vitale ... and he says in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ Sports, that back in early 2020, he acquired a flag that had been autographed by the G.O.A.T.

In his lawsuit, Vitale says the flag was ultra-rare. It had flown at Foxboro Stadium during a Patriots vs. Dolphins game in 2001 -- the same season that Brady first took over as the starter in New England -- and was signed by the quarterback a few years later. Vitale said he believed it to be the only American flag known to be signed by TB12 in existence.

Vitale says in the suit that in 2021, about a year after he got the piece, he reached out to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to see if it wanted to put it on display. He claims it did, but only after Brady and his former head coach, Bill Belichick, had retired.

The HOF, according to Vitale, suggested he reach out to the Patriots Hall of Fame at Gillette Stadium to gauge its interest in the flag in the meantime. Vitale claims in his suit that the Pats HOF wanted it -- and officials there promised him it would be "curated to the highest standard."

Vitale says he handed it over under that premise ... and it was almost immediately displayed underneath the Brady Super Bowl XLIX jersey that had been infamously stolen and later recovered.

Vitale, though, said months later ... he was considering asking for it back. He said due to Brady's potential retirement and the subsequent skyrocketing value of Brady memorabilia, he was thinking about putting it up for auction.

But, that's when he says he found out that the QB's autograph had faded due to what he claims is the way the HOF improperly displayed the piece.

In the suit, Vitale said "neither the lighting at [the facility] nor the glass [it] used for case displaying the flag were designed to protect autographed sports memorabilia."

He added, "there was a significant gap in the glass directly in front of the flag through which unfiltered light and heat could pass."

All of it, he said, caused the T and other parts of Brady's signature to significantly fade.

In a video of Vitale recovering the flag, you can hear he was crushed to see the state it was in.

In the suit, he said due to the Patriots HOF's mishandling of the flag, the value of it decreased by potentially as much as over $1 million.

He's asking for damages.

We've reached out to the Patriots for comment ... but so far, no word back yet.

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