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HGTV Says U.S. Flag Can Be Used as a Tablecloth & Sparks Outrage

Posted by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM
  • 55 Replies

HGTV Says U.S. Flag Can Be Used as a Tablecloth & Sparks Outrage

by Maressa Brown

american flag flyingIf your eyeballs were popping out of your face when you read that Lauren Conrad was destroying books to make a ridiculous craft, brace yourself, because here comes another doozy ... This time, HGTV thought they might get away with totally misusing the American flag for what they call a "Simply Chic Fourth of July Entertaining Idea." As part of a slideshow on its website, a large American flag was pictured underneath plates of fruit and a bowl of lemonade. Agh!

The caption read, "Drape a large American flag over the table as a bright and festive table runner. Use a nylon flag so spills can be easily wiped off and the flag can later be hung with pride on a flag pole." Wow ... Who in their right mind would do that? Who in their right mind would suggest people do that?

U.S. Code clearly states that the flag should never touch anything beneath it, like a table. Furthermore, "The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way." Even if you didn't know that word for word, most Americans realize Ole Glory commands a certain level of respect.

That said, the response to the H&G feature was fast and furious. People -- many of whom identified themselves as having served in the military, lost someone in the military, or have family and friends who are veterans or currently serving -- took to Facebook to rave out at HGTV and call them out on the disgraceful move. One poster said:

Using an American flag as a table cloth dishonors all Americans who love Old Glory — especially those who gave their lives defending it. No one dies for a table cloth.

Well-put! And obviously a point HGTV couldn't ignore. They took the offending content down on Wednesday and posted an apology, to boot:

HGTV Fans, regarding the recent article that appeared on our website ... This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened. We sincerely apologize and have removed the post from our website. We want to assure our fans that HGTV is proud of the American flag and everything it symbolizes for our people.'

While admirable and sure to be appreciated, I'm not sure if that's going to be enough to make up for the moronic move ... I know I'd personally be more satisfied to get some reassurance that they'll be more cognizant of what's appropriate-- and maybe hire an editor with some common sense? -- going forward.

How do you feel about what happened here? Do you think HGTV did enough to make up for the misstep?

by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Jun. 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM
2 moms liked this

 I think it's a cute idea.

Lizardannie1966
by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Hmmm....on the fence.

Something made and designed to look like the American flag? I thing it would be a great idea.

Using an actual flag, however...aren't there specific laws about using the American flag? I can't seem to remember.

jllcali
by Jane on Jun. 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Idiots
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM
6 moms liked this

 Flag etiquette is a basic people should be learning in a government class.  There is a lot of disrespectful use of the flag and it makes me sad.  That flag is the symbol for every drop of blood spilled by our country's patriots.

HGTV did something stupid, they removed and gave what seems to me to be a sincere apology.  I see no need to ask for a blood sacrifice...

Note to Moms...the Fourth of July...Indpendence Day is a great time to teach your kids about flag etiquette.

 

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM
4 moms liked this

What constitutes something be actual flag verses looking like the flag? Is it simply the fact that it is sold as a flag?

I think that people reacted because they felt a need to feel outraged. I think that a least a portion of these same people would take and throw in the trash those little flags placed on graves for Memorial day. I think what HGTV was fine. There are table cloths being sold that are the exact pattern of the flag why are those not wrong? Simply because a manufacturer dictated they had another purpose? Probably. If one makes a US flag is it really a flag? If they make a table cloth that looks like it are they doing wrong? I think sometimes people just like to be outraged. If it was truly an outrage why are they not at Walmart protesting all the products made out of material that resembles the flag. A flag should not be used for clothes.

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM
1 mom liked this

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was an important decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant Gregory Lee Johnson's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johnson was represented by attorneys David D. Cole and William Kunstler.

So if we have a right to burn the flag, using it as a table cloth should be no big deal.  

meriana
by Platinum Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

Not something I'd be worried about. People who purchase flags do so in order to hang them from a flag pole in their yard or one attached to their home or business building. (Well except for the little hand-held ones they give to their children to play with during parades, etc.).  The fact that something is made to look like the flag doesn't make it a flag.

Middlemom32
by Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 1:58 PM
I'm offended by it and will probably avoid HGTV in the future. My husband is military and I'm pretty sensitive to people who don't and won't respect the flag. I view the flag as the symbol of our country and respecting it shows how much you respect every other American. Forgive the hyperbole, but in my mind the people at HGTV just showed how little they care about Americans.
talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Simply because something isn't illegal doesn't mean people can't think it is horrible and respond to it.


Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was an important decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant Gregory Lee Johnson's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johnson was represented by attorneys David D. Cole and William Kunstler.

So if we have a right to burn the flag, using it as a table cloth should be no big deal.  


PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM
3 moms liked this

I grew up in the 60's.  I see nothing wrong with exercising my 1st amendment and showing my displeasure with the government with a little flag burning.  Heck, I even had my jeans patched in the butt with an american flag patch.  I sat on the flag every day.  

We NEED MORE civil disobedience if you ask me.

Quoting talia-mom:

Simply because something isn't illegal doesn't mean people can't think it is horrible and respond to it.


Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was an important decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant Gregory Lee Johnson's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johnson was represented by attorneys David D. Cole and William Kunstler.

So if we have a right to burn the flag, using it as a table cloth should be no big deal.  



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