Protesters attempted to burn an Irish tricolour in Belfast city centre for a protest against new restrictions on flying the Union flag.
Some of the protesters covered their faces with scarves and hats as they set the flag alight at the demonstration in front of City Hall.
There was a heavy police presence in the area but the atmosphere was said to be calm and the crowds have already began to disperse.
More top news
Activists, including a young woman wearing a head scarf, spoke out in turn in front of the cameras assembled to hear leader Paul Nuttall.
Mr Farron's bizarre comment was made to an activist who came to watch the party leader speak in Cambridge on Thursday.
The US actor starred in Disney's 2004 film Miracle, chronicling the US men's hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics.