Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Todd Starnes prowls the nation for Fox News looking for things to outrage the Fox viewer base. Here's Starnes's latest outrage:
HGTV: Use American Flag as Table Cloth

HGTV viewers are expressing outrage after the network suggested they use American flags as table cloths for Fourth of July celebrations. Many viewers called it offensive, un-American and an insult to the American military....

The HGTV website featured a segment titled, "Classic Fourth of July Table Setting Ideas."The photographs show bowls of fruit and a jar of lemonade sitting atop Old Glory. They called the flag an "unconventional table" linen.

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

On Wednesday HGTV removed a link to the page and issued an apology.

"This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened," HGTV said in a statement to Fox News. "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." ...

Did HGTV go way over the line? If so, then a lot of folks are also way over the line.

Pottery Barn:

Belvedere's, a bar in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania:

A South Carolina blogger who posted this photo under the heading "Memorial Day Proud":

(If I'm reading the post correctly, the woman who decorated her table this way did so in honor of her two sons in the Navy.)

Here's a photo of an American flag tablecloth in a campground. Here's another Memorial Day-themed blog post showing a flag tablecloth said to have been purchased from Kohls (the URL of the blog post refers to this as a "patriotic tablescape"). Here are some American flag placemats, at Here are American flag clip-on weights to hold your outdoor tablecloth in place, from Here's a Canadian flag tablecloth.

Are people violating the rules for proper display of the American flag when they put it on a table? Maybe they are, and maybe that offends a lot of people who love the flag and the country -- but it sure looks as if the violators love the flag and the country, too. And the companies that recommend this are also suggesting it as a way of showing patriots patriotism.

So chill the hell out, please. And that especially goes for you, Todd Starnes. I'm sure you're not really going to run out of subjects for your Two Minutes' Hates if you limit yourself to people who actually disagree with you about whether America is a great country.


Anonymous said...

Oh man, there are real flags and then there are flags.

Case in point I was in the Navy and the real flags were serious business. However that didn't mean that on the 4th of July the table cloth wasn't a flag, we didn't have mini flags in our drinks, and the cake wasn't a flag as well. Everything was a fucking flag.

This isn't unique because I worked out of the Pentagon later as a contractor and they do the same thing.

So if this guy has a problem with this he might just want to ring up the DOD and tell them they're doing the 4th of July wrong. I'm sure some junior officer will get a kick out of explaining to him the difference between a ceremonial flag you fly or give at funerals, a table cloth, a napkin, a cake, and a drink decoration.

Shit like this stinks of false patriotism and bravado.

Victor said...

My favorite, is when I was jogging/walking by homes with American flags proudly displayed, in Chapel Hill, NC.

In the the pre-dawn, dark, hours, after the horror(s) of 9/11, and having any waking members of the household, upon being told that there were rules about displaying your flags, telling me I'm an idiot and an asshole, and obviously NOT a "Patriot," for telling them what the rules about waving the flag really were/are.

When THEY wave the American flag, it's THE flag.
When anyone else dares to, we're GodlessSocialistFascistCommunistHeathenMuslimAtheists.

Never Ben Better said...

Heck, I recall right after 9/11 when everyone was rushing to display how patriotic they were, some genius came up with red-white-and-blue-striped plastic doormats.

Yes, doormats.

Unknown said...

Oh look another liberal using the idiotic moral equivalence arguement to support his case.
If you don't want to serve your country by never having joined any of the armed forces and never attend any Memoral day ceremony that is your wimpy prerogative but if you want to use the American Flag for food spillage or clap for those who do...get the hell out of this country. You deserver to live in some place like Kenya or Cuba.

Unknown said...

So, by your logic, putting a crucifix in a jar of urine is showing love for Jesus?

One of your exammples is NOT an American flag, by the way.

Using the flag as a tablecloth is appalling, unAmerican, disgusting...

Steve M. said...

So, by your logic, putting a crucifix in a jar of urine is showing love for Jesus?

I assume you believe God made man in his own image. That would include the urinary tract, no?

Glennis said...

Oh, for heaven's sake, a couple of speed readers chimed in with their outrage meters pegged.

It is an interesting question - I'd never use an American (or any other) flag for a tablecloth, but it's clear from the images above that the people who did use it thought they were being patriotic, not to dishonor it.

And frankly, I always thought the Andres Serrano photo was beautiful - if you didn't know what the medium was. I don't imagine Christ cares much if someone "dishonors" a plastic toy figure of him.

Rob said...

Most folks are able to tell the difference between a flag and flag replicas. Neither NMMNB nor his readers seem to be able to tell the difference.

Glennis said...

Pray tell, Rob, what is the difference? What is, really, the difference that changes a piece of cloth into a fetish?

Duane & Patricia said...

The difference , my dear, is called: "anything for a buck." Respect. What I hear from some comments is that the lines have been completely blurred. I will do whatever I want! It's my way of doing things! Well, that's because it takes too much thought and restraint to live a respectful life. American's no longer have the ability to sit quietly and think through, nor do they really care about, the consequences of what they do. We go as fast through life as we can, rushing from one experience to another. We want to have the coolest looking table around--that is the reason for HGTV in the first place. That is the reason for ALL blogs----LOOK AT ME! That is why an old person like yourself would write what you have: you still want to be heard so you are willing to throw all truth to the wind in order "to be relevant still". It's called "pride". And it's not the pride that puts a flag on a pole because they want to identify with the country that has stood for freedom and justice and mercy, but it's the pride that puts a flag on the table in order to hear, "that looks cool". Because that is what we live for now----to be cool. To have everyone look at us! To be somebody! Isn't that what blogging is all about anyway? Nobody here is really discussing the true issues behind all this.