Olive Garden apologizes for not allowing U.S. flag

Olive Garden is apologizing for refusing to allow an 80-year-old Kiwanis Club member to display the U.S. flag at an Alabama restaurant.

The City of Oxford website.

The City of Oxford website.

The Kiwanis Club in the east Alabama city of Oxford had planned a banquet, but Marti Warren, of Anniston, said she wasn’t allowed to bring the flag or a banner into the building.

Warren, in a Fox News interview, said, “This is not my country. This is not my country I grew up with.”

Warren, a former educator, told Fox she was outraged. “I was so angry. I felt like I had been slapped in the face.”

Oxford is located 90 miles west of Atlanta on I-20.

Management at the restaurant refused to answer questions concerning the incident, such as the size of the flag.

A media contact would not answer specific questions either, but did issue an apology via email.

“We are very sorry for any misunderstanding about this issue. We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office. As a company we take responsibility for that and we regret it. We take pride in how we communicate to our restaurants and we are correcting this so it doesn’t happen again. Like all Americans we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes, and we welcome anyone who wishes to bring the flag into our restaurants. In fact, we periodically provide American flag collar pins to our employees to wear while serving guests.”

The parent firm of Olive Garden,  Darden restaurants, which also operates the Red Lobster and Longhorn chains, is based in Orlando.

764 comments Add your comment

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

@mk

yeah WALMART is really “feeling” it,lol.

Alex

October 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

Do you have to bring a Flag to eat there?

Lauren

October 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

Well I would say to those of you “who don’t care, think this whole thing is stupid, wonder why we can’t go a few hours without the flag”- I’m inviting you to stand in front of our troops since you obviously can’t stand behind them. Mistakes happen & it seems Olive Garden is very sorry for the incident. Kiwanis Club are a part of this nation & therefore should have the right & ability to bring the flag in. Hopefully this will bring a change to Olive Garden & it’s other companies.

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

some of my girlfriends were farm animals!

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

what happens in the barn STAYS in the barn!

David

October 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

Yeah, Oxford women are Oxes!!

David

October 12th, 2011
4:28 pm

Is that you swampio? lol

Captain Midnight

October 12th, 2011
4:29 pm

Haha yeah Wal-Mart was truly brought to its knees by literally dozens of people threatening to boycott the retail giant

Alex

October 12th, 2011
4:29 pm

Yupp, if you bring a Flag to Olive Garden = FRee BreAd STICK

Captain Midnight

October 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

Hahahaha someone unironically regurgitated that old “stand in front of our troops since you won’t stand behind them” line gahahahaha 2003 called it wants its hick catchphrase back

Alex

October 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Enter your comments here

TrishaDishaWarEagle

October 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Poor Billy Mays..It sliced, it diced, made mounds of Julienne fries ..if only it defibrillated…

Old Salt

October 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

We’re not talking about any old banner here. We’re talking about the flag of our country. And, we’re not talking about customers parading through the dining room, we’re talking about the meeting of a group that paid to use the facilities starting their meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. If that offends you, don’t skip Olive Garden. Go eat in another country.

Captain Midnight

October 12th, 2011
4:32 pm

Nationalism is the disease. Voting liberal is the cure.

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:33 pm

Kiwanis club people do weird things.

Captain Midnight

October 12th, 2011
4:33 pm

“GET OUT OF THE USA.” –a complete buffoon

BILLY MAYES HERE

October 12th, 2011
4:34 pm

If anything I’ve learned I shouldn’t join the Kiwanis. I honestly thought they didn’t exist anymore.

Sylvia

October 12th, 2011
4:34 pm

Now you know now black folks feel.

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:34 pm

Pledge of Allegiance?? They don’t even allow that in Grade School!

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:35 pm

sheep make good girlfriends, or boyfriends for u same sex folks!

JoeThom

October 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

I’m sure if it was a “rainbow” flag every gay/lesbian group from coast to coast would be standing in front of every OG protesting along with all you other liberal Obama lovers. But it’s the American Flag so let’s praise them and say that OG has the right to refuse. For all of you I say you can exercise they special inalienable right you all have……leave.

neal

October 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

I never go to these joints. Mainly because there full of monkeys.

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:37 pm

Why can’t everyone be white like me?

motowife

October 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

Yea, 1st of all an 80 year old woman can’t tote an “enormous” American flag. This was a banquet so I am sure they had a private area for their group. Some of you are sad individuals. My husband bled for that flag and I will wrap myself in the flag until the day I die as will my children. 

Also, I would rather see the flag than listen to some of your rude, rowdy children when I eat. They admitted they were wrong.

gloria miller

October 12th, 2011
4:39 pm

the flag is the symbol of our country,didn’t realize you were so anti american,we will never step foot in your restaurant again

Nate G

October 12th, 2011
4:39 pm

The food is awful there anyway.

judy1064

October 12th, 2011
4:39 pm

The flag they wanted to display was the American flag. If it isn’t a big deal, as some of you are saying, then why not let them display it? Bottom line: if you don’t want to accommodate my reasonable request, I can hold my banquet elsewhere, where they will accommodate me. And if I want to complain and tell someone and a news service picks up the story and prints it, again – what’s the big deal? Jeez, it’s not like the Kiwanis are suing or anything stupid like that, they can certainly be upset and they can boycott too if they want. YOU don’t have to agree with them, but it’s their right.

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

cram it Judy

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

@joethom

why dont u leave? after all nobody complains about this country more than u conservatives do

GulfVet49

October 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

What a bunch of rude people that are trying to be comedians, you are appalling, keep your day jobs or stay unemployed whatever. What has become of us as a people? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, I ber your mother didn’t raise you to be so rude and uncouth.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

October 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

: Leaked cables show Japan nixed a presidential apology to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for using nukes to end the overseas contingency operation known as World War II. Will the next president apologize for the current one?

The obsessive need of this president to apologize for American exceptionalism and our defense of freedom continued recently when Barack Obama’s State Department (run by Hillary Clinton) contacted the family of al-Qaida propagandist and recruiter Samir Khan to “express its condolences” to his family.

A heretofore secret cable dated Sept. 3, 2009, was recently released by WikiLeaks. Sent to Secretary of State Clinton, it reported Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka telling U.S. Ambassador John Roos that “the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a ‘nonstarter.’” The Japanese feared the apology would be exploited by anti-nuclear groups and those opposed to the defensive alliance between Japan and the U.S.

Whatever Tokyo’s motive, Obama’s motive was to once again apologize for defending freedom, this time for winning with devastating finality the war Japan started.

This is why a Nations flag is important..when you have a buffoonish clown who neither commands or gets or deserves any respect, as the head of government, you have to have one thing worth defending to keep the nation intact..right now we are down to our superior capitalist culture and the flag..

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

Dissatisfied (Former) Customer

October 12th, 2011
4:42 pm

I had the worst experience at Olive Garden, and did not plan to go back even before this terrible tragedy.
I went to the Olive Garden in Stone Mountain on US 78 with my sister and her children and I had pasta and beef.
Later that night I had bad stomach pains.
I did not have a bowel movement for over a week, even though I continued to eat fresh corn and biscuits.
Finally after several large enemas, I had really painful movement and TrishaDishaWarEagle came out and splashed toilet water all over my bathroom rug.
I will never eat there again.
Go Dawgs!

BILLY MAYS HERE

October 12th, 2011
4:43 pm

Steve Eide

October 12th, 2011
4:45 pm

Hey “whocares”, yes, it’s their right not to allow the American flag into their restaurant and it’s OUR right to tell them to get screwed and eat someplace else. Ask the debunked Dixie Chicks about the “rights of the fans(customers in this case)” IN this case, the actual company is apologetic and doesn’t endorse the ignorance of whoever performed the stupid act. You have a place in this too, for stupid people will support stupid acts.

Paddy O

October 12th, 2011
4:46 pm

there are some profound, anti-American morons commenting here. Pathetic. I for one WILL boycott that specific Olive Garden.

GulfVet49

October 12th, 2011
4:46 pm

Dissatisfied Former Customer-I rest my case about rude people, I don’t believe your mother raised you to behave like that. Shame on you

William

October 12th, 2011
4:47 pm

Jope20…I was born and raised in this country right here,the greatest country on the face of this earth. But being a patriot is not turning a blind eye to your country`s transgressions. It`s not blind loyalty. Being a patriot is celebrating your country`s ideals and holding your country accountable when it consciously falls short of those ideals. I`m from a country that possess ideals of justice and fairness and democracy and all liberties that should be afforded humankind. It`s also a country that sanctioned 41 shots to Diallo and sanctioned the destruction of Emmit Till and sanctioned the Tuskeege Experiment. Jope20, I suggest you go get a dictionary (it`s a book full of words and their meanings) and TRY to learn a little about your country!

BILLY MAYS HERE

October 12th, 2011
4:47 pm

The Dixie Chicks are still far more successful, wealthy, and well-spoken than you ever will be, Steve Eide.

Chris Lysik

October 12th, 2011
4:48 pm

If it is private I assume they can decide if you can smoke or not smoke? The government can’t make the choice for them????

wf

October 12th, 2011
4:48 pm

Join a farm.

judy1064

October 12th, 2011
4:48 pm

Also, to all who says OG is unpatriotic and you’ll never set foot in there again – let’s hope the next time you make a public mistake, acknowlege that mistake and apologize – let’s hope people are more forgiving of you than you are of them. All companies are just made up of people, and people make mistakes every day. Or maybe you are perfect, and you never have or never will make a stupid mistake…

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:48 pm

@trish

wow u hate OBAMA surprise surprise!! thank god we have a real leader instead of the cowboy BUSH who couldnt protect america! JUST ASK OSAMA, LOL

GulfVet49

October 12th, 2011
4:50 pm

The USA is going to he** in a handbasket, so I’m leaving. I hereby renounce my US citizenship, and I’m going to a place with no big government and I can have as many guns as I want… that’s right, I’m moving to Somalia.

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:50 pm

Osama BaracBama

TrishaDishaWarEagle

October 12th, 2011
4:50 pm

Re. dixie chicks

..actually they are still embroiled in a destructive round of suit-counter suit over royalties and song writing credit, and one just lost her house in foreclosure :) But hey, why let actual facts get in the way

RighteousRighty

October 12th, 2011
4:51 pm

Helen is a Hand Basket LOL

GulfVet49

October 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Somebody is using my screen name and I DID NOT post that I am going to move to Somalia.

BILLY MAYS HERE

October 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Jesus said something about forgiveness but as we all know Christians don’t care about what he did or said, they just gotta rage against something.

liberalefty

October 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

@trish

but i bet they still have more money than u,lol.