Furor as HGTV uses U.S. flag as tablecloth

A show featuring REALLY bad home decorating ideas has been put on hold. (HGTV)

A show featuring REALLY bad home decorating ideas has been put on hold. (HGTV)

“No one dies for a table cloth.”

That would seem to be an easy concept to grasp, but somebody at HGTV.com suggested the flag of the United States would make for festive decor during July 4 gatherings.

“Drape a large American flag over the table as a bright and festive table runner,” HGTV said. “Use a nylon flag so spills can be easily wiped off and the flag can later be hung with pride on a flag pole.”

A photo depicts plates, flowers and a jug of lemonade atop the flag. A name card on a plate indicates someone name “Barb” may be the home decorator behind all this.

Public outrage over the article and photo on the cable television channel’s website arrived as quickly and devastatingly as a bomb-toting drone.

“I am appalled that you would suggest using the flag that my brother was killed defending in Iraq as something to catch spills on a table at a cookout,” wrote one displeased American on HGTV’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, HGTV offered an apology.

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.

That’s a good start.

Now if they’d just admit they make up the plots for their “reality” shows, I might respect them.

73 comments Add your comment

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
10:41 am

Oh, pah-leeze! The flag is not a religious nor sacred symbol. No one fights for the cotton rectangle. They fight for FREEDOM. Yes, the flag represents said freedom, but DO NOT idolize the flag. It is only a man-made object.

I don’t see the stink about using the flag in a positive light. I see the table as prideful in one’s country and what it stands for…NOT a horrid person for (*GASP*) using a flag made probably in China.

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
10:42 am

It’s like someone saying they got married for the ring…not the love it represents…

Common Sense

June 13th, 2013
10:44 am

Ditto….. please people everyhting is not an issue.

Proud Mom of US Soldier

June 13th, 2013
10:48 am

The flag is a sacred symbol of this country and the laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1. Be informed, not ignorant!!!

Michelle

June 13th, 2013
10:48 am

Go ask a war veteran what they think of this “decorating” idea….I can assure you they would indeed find it insulting. Our flag is to be treated with dignity and respect for what it REPRESENTS! And it does indeed represent what our soldiers have bled and died for. The shear ignorance of this generation regarding our country and the pride of our nation is mind boggling. Most people today couldn’t even recite the Pledge of Allegiance to this great flag if they had to. SHAME ON YOU HGTV!

Michelle Obama

June 13th, 2013
10:50 am

I use American flags as door mats in the White House.

When torn into strips they make for great dust rags.

Rachel Maddow

June 13th, 2013
10:52 am

We burn one at least once a week here on MSNBC.

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
10:54 am

Supreme Court Ruling allows free speech related to handling the flag. Yes, there is a code, but NO, there is no crime in even burning it (shame if someone burns it out of protest).

I’m sure our veterans deserve more honor than saying they fought for a piece of cloth. They fought for THEIR life first, then OUR lives second, then OUR COUNTRY third. Life is far greater than a fibrous symbol.

If you are Christian, remember the Golden Bull? Don’t blind the TRUE meaning of this great country behind the guise of an object. It merely represents. It is NOT the reason my family fought for this country. YOU ARE THE REASON.

Pedro

June 13th, 2013
10:55 am

Some of you have obviously never faced anything more threatening than a thunderstorm. If you think that our flag or any national banner is just a rag to wipe your feet on, then you should go sit with your father or grandfather and ask them to tell you the truth about their experiences under fire, and ask them how THEY feel about the flag.

Maybe if you’d learned a bit of national pride in school, instead of guilt over perceived injustices by the U.S.A., and toleration for everything immoral you’d have a different perspective.

You’ve had your 1st Amendment rights defended by others. You can say what you want about “pah-leeze”, but it only shows your ignorance and lack of appreciation for the freedoms you enjoy.

Ron Hebshie

June 13th, 2013
10:56 am

But it is perfectly OK to plaster the flag on every possible tacky souvenir and t-shirt? Please, give me break and lighten up.

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
10:58 am

Pedro,

Again, YOU are the reason my family fought. No one goes to battle over a made-in-China object. Pride is in the citizen. PLEASE don’t blind yourself to community.

A flag is a SYMBOL, not the FACT. Honor is human. Envy is material.

g-scout

June 13th, 2013
10:58 am

There are rules for displaying a flag , actually laws, and using the flag as tablecloth is not one of the choices. Although there is no penalty when you break the law, you just shouldn’t display it in any other way than properly described

jennifer

June 13th, 2013
11:06 am

Please, this is just a few steps shy of the Islamic fundamentalists losing their marbles over cartoons of Mohammed. People risk and sacrifice their lives for ideals, their family, their county. Not for a piece of nylon. And the intent was not defamatory.

Ernest Bell

June 13th, 2013
11:10 am

@ the idiot pretendign to be First Lady Obama, you really have a fixation with them don’t you? Get over it loser!!

Ernest Bell

June 13th, 2013
11:11 am

@ the idiot pretending to be First Lady Obama, you really have a fixation with them don’t you? Get over it loser!! And yes I am reposting to correct my TYPO!

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
11:14 am

We need to chastise our Olympic track and field ‘heroes’ for using it as a cape on their victory lap.

Michael Fernette

June 13th, 2013
11:16 am

For those who have not fought for it or served under it or is a family member of those that do, of course it means nothing to you. As you go on your daily lives only because of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice you don’t give them a second thought. It might upset your day for a couple minutes if you did. My wife and I have been to 6 Marine funerals for those “brothers” who were deployed with my 2 U.S. Marine sons. They lost 23 in total. My dad and my wife’s dad served in WWII and Korea, myself in Vietnam and my sons in Iraq and Afghanistan. That red, white and blue, what most of you consider a piece of cloth, is a symbol of those that have died and fought for it. Maybe if you saw it on a casket that held the body of a hero who fought for it you might feel different. Of course, there would still be some who would not.

2ruff4U

June 13th, 2013
11:16 am

TO K-STER:
You have no real idea of what it is to be American do you?
You have no Pride in America only your own sense of self worth and the priviledge you feel you deserve over and above everyone else.
Just because you were never taught Flag Etiquette, doesn’t mean you can use it for a shirt, coat or doormat. (you probably have and never saw anything wrong that in your ignorance)
There are laws and there are rules of the PROPER USE OF THE AMERICAN FLAG and as a table cloth is NOT one of them.
Your sense of indignance shows the lack of integrity and intelligence in your ignorance.
Back out of this situation you have put yourself into and get some education!

Hilarious

June 13th, 2013
11:16 am

So many people ready to throw the First Amendment into the trash in order to worship a symbol of the freedom they are throwing away.

Get a grip.

It’s a piece of cloth with colors on it.

C. M. Thornton, III

June 13th, 2013
11:17 am

You know what else is colorful and would make a “bright and festive table runner”? That rainbow colored gay pride flag that flies all over the place in California. Use one of those as a table cloth and see what kind of reaction you get…

Susan

June 13th, 2013
11:18 am

K-ster….I always have a problem with the flag used as a cape. It should be carried high and proud, not dragged along the ground.

Michelle Bachman

June 13th, 2013
11:19 am

My hubby Marcus Bachman and I used an old flag to make matching two -piece bikinis. We get all the guys to whistle at us as we sashay to the pool.

Julie

June 13th, 2013
11:19 am

There are several Supreme Court rulings concerning the American flag. The bottom line it’s about freedom of expression, which is guaranteed protection under the First Amendment. If anyone is offended that it’s used for anything beyond worshiping it as if were a god, then that is your right. But, it is also a right guaranteed under the First Amendment, that is upheld by the Supreme Court, that a person can use the flag any way the person sees fit.

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
11:19 am

@2ruff4U,

You are right, I am ignorant. I surrender to your greatness and wisdom beyond any freedom I have.

Ted Cruz of Texas

June 13th, 2013
11:22 am

My lover and I simply love this décor. But since I’m a conservative, when I get home I will tell my beard — I mean my wifey — that we cannot use this décor for our 4th of July barbecue. Now my lover, he can decorate however he wants.

Barry Obama

June 13th, 2013
11:22 am

The American flag is a racist symbol for a nation created by elitist, wealthy slave owners that kidnapped and enslaved Africans and systematically annihilated Native peoples. Those on here that see it otherwise still cling to their guns and religion. Unlike the Bush presidency this commander-in-chief will not wrap himself up in the flag while millions of Americans lack equal opportunity and a sense of fairness while Republicans and Tea Partyers try to keep from paying their fair share.

2ruff4U

June 13th, 2013
11:28 am

To the one’s who think it is “just a piece of cloth with some colors on it”. Wake up and look around and see where “your” country is going so fast.
There is no National Pride anymore. Just Gaypride, Blackpride, Latinopride, Whitepride and som many more ad infinitum.
We are a nation of people not individuals. WE are American and the FLAG is one of our symbols.
If you are watching closely, you can see our nation slowly being subdivided into various sects, groups and individuals rather than the entirity of Americans.
WAKE UP AMERICA.
Watch out for “big brother” and “the man”. He is different today than he was 50 years ago or even 2,000 years ago, but it is still the same mentality and type people who have power and have become corrupted by that very power and abuse it for their own short-sighted and selfish ends.

Laura Bush

June 13th, 2013
11:29 am

@ Michelle Obama I did too LOL

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
11:30 am

@2ruff4U,

The flag you speak of is only 54 years old. Our Korean War, and World War vets alive today fought for a different flag.

Again, the flag is a SYMBOL. What does it represent? It represents what your focus should be on…not the literal fabric.

2ruff4U

June 13th, 2013
11:31 am

Barry “Obama” you are still so lost in your misguided and uninformed ignorance about slavery.
Who sold those very slaves to the Dutch on the coast of Africa?
They were your cousins and neighboring tribes who were caught in their own selfish dreams of “ruling the world” and thier neighbor.

ogosatah

June 13th, 2013
11:32 am

Attention! Those honor us by leaving their lofty elite but brain-dead perch above patriotism and take part in this discussion need to KNOW: ridicule is not an acceptable form of debate!
Those aghast of a US flag made in China can make their own. Betsy did! And you can even write an internet piece on how to do so (sew, couldn’t resist). But you asked for the criticism you got by blatantly ignoring rules and good taste. Consider yourselves lucky. Take your lumps and learn something.

pete

June 13th, 2013
11:32 am

I doubt that it was a mistake. My guess is that it was a deliberate attempt to push the envelope, and see if iconic American items could be disrespected openly on the network. When a ‘furor’ erupted, it was easy to call it an accident. That is how these things work. Anyone knows a flag cannot be used in such a way.

GeoffDawg

June 13th, 2013
11:33 am

K-Ster, would you use your wedding ring to prop up an uneven table leg or would you consider that disrespectful to your covenant of marriage?

Matt321

June 13th, 2013
11:33 am

Sure, stick it on a flag pole where it will be slowly, but inevitably, degraded by the sun and wind (and since many leave their flags flapping in the rain, by water as well). BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T DISPLAY IT INDOORS ON A TABLE!!!! Unless you’re hanging it off the side of a table, I guess that’d be cool.

Sheesh, the things some people get upset about.

Speaker Boehner

June 13th, 2013
11:36 am

I cry every time I see our flag. Hell I just love to cry.

Michelle Obama

June 13th, 2013
11:36 am

Can’t use an American flag as a table cloth or door mat, but its okay on a beach ball or bikini?

How sexist is that?

Anyone that has a flag sticker on their car should be audited by the IRS !

A sign of the apocalypse...

June 13th, 2013
11:38 am

Wow, America is REALLY devolving! Who would have thought that a long-cherished and unifying national symbol (like that hailed and esteemed by all OTHER countries) is now the source of such mockery and vitriol by you so-called citizens.

If you people have such disparaging regard for living under such an “idol, god or relic”, Delta is international and is certainly ready with your one-way ticket when you are.

Skynyrd

June 13th, 2013
11:38 am

I doesn’t matter, within the next 4 years we will have a new Muslim flag to hang anyway.

K-Ster

June 13th, 2013
11:38 am

Any why can’t it be used that way? It’s my d@mn country, too. It’s my freedom. If I want to be patriotic and express such love for my country, why can’t I show it in a way I feel connected to? Why do I have to obey a set of rules? Is that free[dom]?

Respect is easy to follow. But if I want to take a flag with me everywhere I go, why can’t I? I man no harm. I mean no disrespect. It’s just that I choose to go beyond the established rules set forth long ago that dictate how I can BE AMERICAN. I’m sorry…I thought I was free and carried the right to express myself in speech.

But I guess some still feel like they can lord over their fellow American. How ‘American” of them!

Hittman65

June 13th, 2013
11:41 am

K-Ster, you are my hero…well said friend…well said.

Willie

June 13th, 2013
11:41 am

The American flag is more than a decorating accessory. Even if you don’t care, HGTV was insensitive to the millions of people who do care. In a functioning society, symbols matter. Symbols are important to who we are as a people. Of course that central identity is fracturing and that might be the real issue. It’s sort of like the folks who only see Memorial Day as a chance to get drunk to mark be beginning of summer.

Rich Black

June 13th, 2013
11:43 am

I’m a Gay Veteran and I think the table looks fabulous! Lighten up.

Don't be an idiot..

June 13th, 2013
11:43 am

“Free speech” is NOT free.

Wobbly Emu

June 13th, 2013
11:59 am

K-Ster said “I’m sure our veterans deserve more honor than saying they fought for a piece of cloth.”

Did you ever stop to think that you are working for a piece of paper? (Money)

It’s a representation of something bigger than yourself.

SFC F
Afghanistan

jarvis

June 13th, 2013
12:02 pm

K-ster, no one suggested that HGTV be prosecuted. I thought that’s what First Amendment protected.

I guess I missed the part of the First Amendment that says, “Your right to free speech, disallows any critisism of anything you say or do.”

mike

June 13th, 2013
12:06 pm

I am a vet and I could care less if someone uses the flag as a tablecloth. It is a piece of material and while it is a symbol that’s all it is. There is free speech in this country. If you don’t like what someone is doing to the flag, don’t look. There have been and will continue to be atrocities committed under this flag. So while you folks have a problem with this tablecloth, try addressing all the inhuman acts done under this so-called symbol of American justice. You really need to get a life.

janie hopwood

June 13th, 2013
12:10 pm

I would rather see the flag used as a decoration, which it actually is in this world, than to see it used as clothing. I have seen flag bikinis, jackets, sweater, hats, act. and it seems I am the only one offended by this.

just me

June 13th, 2013
12:17 pm

I think the table looks great. I’d do that in a minute.

KLR

June 13th, 2013
12:21 pm

The problem is using an actual flag vice using a print/pattern of one. No one screamed when it is used as pants, underwear, jackets, blah blah because it’s a pattern but to use an actual flag is what’s insulting.

KLR

June 13th, 2013
12:22 pm