HGTV has apologized to outraged viewers for suggesting that the American flag be used as a tablecloth in a Fourth of July web segment earlier this week.
"Drape a large American flag over the table as a bright and festive table runner," HGTV said in the segment, "Classic Fourth of July Table Setting Ideas." "Use a nylon flag so spills can be easily wiped off and the flag can later be hung with pride on a flag pole."
The segment offended Americans who thought that using a flag as a tablecloth would desecrate it.
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"The American Flag is not a Tablecloth!" one person wrote on HGTV's Facebook page. "It represents freedom and the bloodshed by thousands of soldiers to secure that freedom!"
"Your use of an American flag as a tablecloth is totally thoughtless and disrespectful!" one commented.
"My dad defended that flag for 23 years serving our nation and you people are so ignorant and disrespectful to even suggest that it be used as an 'unconventional tablecloth,'" another person commented. "Maybe you'll think otherwise the next time you see it draped over the coffin of a serviceman or woman who died to protect our freedoms."
According to the U.S. Flag Code, "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise."
Joe March, a spokesman for the American Legion, said that using the flag as a tablecloth would disrespect what it stands for.
"The flag of the United States is designed to be flown and respected
as the symbol of our country," he told FOX News. "That very same flag is used to cover the caskets of our soldiers, sailors, and Marines who have been killed in battle. You would not obviously want to take that and use that as a table cloth."
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The network has removed the segment from its website and issued an apology.
"This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened," HGTV said in a statement on its Facebook page. "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."
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