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

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?



Image via iStock

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bills... billsfan1104

I agree with you, they apologized and now it's time to move on. The problem was probably some uneducated decorator did it.

nonmember avatar Ash

I'm not too concerned with misuse of the American Flag when most of them are made in China.

Lillith Abendroth

If youre going to war to fight for a scrap of cloth....somethings wrong with you. Youre supposed to fight for the country...not a hunk of material made in china...

Megan... MeganJune03

The flag is "disrespected" everyday and in many ways.......

§8. Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.



  1. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

  2. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

  3. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

  4. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

  5. 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.

  6. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

Megan... MeganJune03


  1. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

  2. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

  3. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

  4. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

  5. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning

Helena A. Woolley-Killins

First of all to much "worshiping" is done in regards to the flag. When not enough is done in schools and all around the world where God is concerned. It's a flag, it's not to be WORSHIPED! Respecting something and having clear guidelines and how it should be "buried" is clearly worshiping. 

Kim Partin Bogart

How is the flag as a table cloth worse than clothing with it printed on it. My husband was military and he always said, those boxers or bikinis with it printed on them are just as disrespectful

Amomne3 Amomne3

I really don't think it's such a bad idea for a Fourth of July celebration...it's not like they're deliberately disrespecting the flag or hating on Americans, it's just a cute idea to show even more pride on that day..people exaggerate everything these days! 

echoi... echoishername

What more do they really need to do for a stupid, uppity housewife, over reaction?

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