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HGTV’s American Flag Tablecloth Tip Suggests Using Old Glory To Catch Crumbs

HGTV american flag tablecloth

Home-centric network HGTV has stunned readers with a Fourth of July decorating tip that flies in the face of all common etiquette about the flag — by suggesting viewers use an actual American flag as a tablecloth before running it up the flagpole.

Yes, HGTV’s American flag tip seems to be offensive to all eyes, taking the symbol that drapes the coffins of servicemen killed in action and flies at half mast to honor the dead and using it to sit under potato salad and cupcakes at a party.

In an HGTV website tip advising “unconventional table linens” for July 4th celebrations, the network suggests viewers convert the American flag into a “table runner,” saying:

“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.”

Unconventional, certainly. Disrespectful, insulting, and something most children know not to do? Perhaps, but it doesn’t have the same ring, we suppose.

Over on the HGTV Facebook page, users have come out to protest the HGTV American flag tablecloth, saying on the network’s Facebook wall:

“I am highly offended by your tip to use an American Flag as a table cloth. That is beyond disgraceful, and I refuse to leave this issue alone. I agree with another person who stated that her husband does not defend this country for a table cloth, and neither does mine or all the other hundreds of military people I love and respect. REMOVE IT, and apologize.”

“Honor the Flag there is a Code! Would you want your son or daughter ‘s casket covered with a tablecloth flag wiped off and used to honor a veterans death. Shame on you HGTV, I am no longer a fan or supporter!”

teacher stomps on flag

“I’m usually a huge fan of your programs and ideas, but you REALLY FAILED ON THIS ONE! Using our nation’s flag as a tablecloth is disrespectful and in very bad taste. You really need to brush up on your flag etiquette. I think you need to admit your goof and apologize. Pull the page.”

While users are outraged over HGTV’s American flag tablecloth, perhaps their social media manager is in bed for the night, as the webpage with the tip is still up and viewable.

Do you think HGTV needs to apologize for using the American flag as a “festive” party accoutrement?

Update: HGTV has apologized for the American flag tablecloth post and removed the content.

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52 Responses to “HGTV’s American Flag Tablecloth Tip Suggests Using Old Glory To Catch Crumbs”

  1. Chris Fleming

    omg get over it……..its a piece of cloth……..a flag… would be different if they stole it from a flag pole or off a casket but I'm guess'ng that they bought it…..thus it is a piece of cloth……and it is not disrespectful to have it as a table cloth……I like the idea & its beautiful……get over it……..for god sakes…….that's rediculous to complain about something so stupid…..GET OVER IT…….

  2. Barbara D Whitehead

    Chris — it isn't just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol that millions of Americans have respected, fought for, died for and been buried under. It is a flag that represents our principles and values. It is disrespectful, and as a mother who's son watched over a dozen friends die for our country, I find your comments disrespectful and rude. Your comments show a great deal of ignorance for our country's beliefs and values. Our government has a code for displaying the flag and his clearly is a violation.

  3. Barbara D Whitehead

    Chris — it isn't just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol that millions of Americans have respected, fought for, died for and been buried under. It is a flag that represents our principles and values. It is disrespectful, and as a mother who's son watched over a dozen friends die for our country, I find your comments disrespectful and rude. Your comments show a great deal of ignorance for our country's beliefs and values. Our government has a code for displaying the flag and his clearly is a violation.

  4. Kim Gaston

    ummm…. yeah… Get over it? That flag (aka piece of cloth) represents every soldier, airman, sailor, marine, who fought, or gave his live for this country! For the same reason I would be offended by a KKK flag being flown on a government building or business, I am completely and utterly offended that our American flag is being used in such a manner of disrespect. It is NOT just a piece of cloth. It is a contract that we hold this country as she holds us, with loyalty and honor. And btw….God is with a capital G out of respect too.

  5. Chantal Roberts

    It never fails to amaze me how disrespectful people can be and not see a thing wrong with their actions. Please thank your son for the service he's given *hugs*

  6. Nancy Watton

    It is NOT just a piece of cloth! It is a symbol of our nation and what out brave service men and women have fought and died to honor and protect. Anyone who would use our flag in such a disrespectful manner is quite simply rude,ignorant an UNAMERICAN. Feel free to leave the country at anytime. My Dad was a Marine. I have friends and family who are Marines and some who have served in the Army. I will not be watching HGTV until a very public apology is provided. I hope it was worth it.

  7. John Lewis

    Right on Chris… while symbolic, it is just a piece of cloth…If there were some ceremony or certification given to a flag that might make that particular flag more important and worthy of special treatment… but they are mass-produced items and made of everything from cloth to paper (and probably in China). The notion that because the fabric and colors are arranged in the form of the flag magically turn it into something solemn that needs to be treated with some sort of reverence is ridiculous. It's not like they are using the original Betsy Ross made flag…

  8. Larry Gruttemeyer

    This is just a commentary on how far the education system has taken us from our national Ideals. Every student should learn the national flag code. Our Flag is the representation of our country, defended by our Veterans and Military to ensure the freedom that we so dearly hold. Amazing that the same people that try to keep God out of schools still take the currency that rightfully says "In God We Trust" every payday. IMHO Semper Fi.

  9. Heather Johnson

    Our armed forces fight for freedom, which includes using a flag in any way that someone wants.

  10. Heather Johnson

    The code is just a recommendation and not law.

  11. Heather Johnson

    Kim Gaston The word God/god is spelling both ways depending on the usage.

  12. Kim LaCapria

    I said the same but it doesn't change the fact that despite its legality this is very, very offensive to the men who died to defend it.

  13. Heather Johnson

    Freedom of speech. The flag also represents freedom of speech.

  14. Richard Gramza

    Better back off on the Big Macs Chris. They are obviously affecting your ability to muster a reasonably cognitive thought.

  15. Kaitlin Deegan

    I'm the daughter of a marine and my stepfather is Air Force and that's so highly offensive! Makes me sick! I hope they remove it!

  16. Gerry Buck

    Are you a veteran? I am. I served that 'piece of cloth' as you call it, at a time it was not popular to do so. I had to watch many an idiot burn it in protest. Didn't like it then and don't like it now. It is NOT just a piece of cloth, a shirt or socks is just a piece of cloth. And I refuse to get over it.
    A lot of my friends died defending that flag, this idea is a disgrace, to them as well as to it.

  17. Charles D. Morgan

    I was hit 4 times in nam and helped save our flag from the vc trying to take it down and you say get over it some how your dad failed in teaching you whats worth living for you need to get a grip

  18. Ma Morris

    and I suppose you voted vote Michelle also ….Heather. She despises the flag, she was caught on mic disrespecting it. the flag is NOT speech! it is a symbol of our country and those who disrespect it, need to get on a sinking ship off the coast of canada.

  19. Heather Johnson

    I'm not even debating that. Right or wrong, offensive or not, disrespectful or not — People in this country have the freedom to do what they want with the flag.

    Did HGTV make a gaffe? Probably. But whatever. Freedom of speech.

  20. Heather Johnson

    The United States Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the flag of the United States. It is Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code. This is a U.S. federal law, but there is no penalty for failure to comply with it. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

  21. Angie Wendell

    Freedom of speech is a legal matter. It won't protect you from people thinking you're a jerk, ignorant, etc. and writing angry e-mails. It just means the government won't intervene.

  22. Lottie Jeanette Ahrens

    You have obviously not had/lost someone ckose who fought or died for that "piece of cloth. Check out the historyof The Star Spangled Banner". Bodies of men women and children were what held that flsg the morning after that bloody fight when thst song was inspired. Also learn the second verse. Bet you didn't know there was one.

  23. Lemira Vela

    Heather your comments are spoken like a lawyer who goes strictly by codes and laws the letter of the law but misses the spirit of it. The flag is just a piece of cloth but it is a symbol of our country and should be treated with respect. It shouldn't be used as a table cloth only to be later hung up for viewing. HGTV made a huge faux paus and should remove it.

  24. Kim LaCapria

    Heh, I really think this needs to be ADDED to the First Amendment, because everyone thinks the First Amendment protects them from people objecting to their view :)

  25. Amy Jentoft Hussar

    The US flag code may be just a suggestion, but if you value any of the freedoms that you enjoy today, it would behoove you to not consider our flag as just another "piece of cloth." The men in my American Legion post don't talk much, but I can see the pain in their eyes and hear it in their voices when they do talk about the buddies that they lost at Okinawa and Chosun Reservoir and other places. The U.S. flag was often the one sign of hope that kept these guys going in the midst of some fierce battles…

  26. Shannon McLean-Glass

    I've seen the flag use to cover windows. Chill out.

  27. Suzi Satterfield Simola

    It's not a first amendment issue at all because the government isn't intervening. It's definitely a "bad taste" issue and HGTV should be prepared to have people exercising their first amendment right to say it sucks.

  28. Dena Bettis

    Bullshit! Out of respect for those who would be offended, I would never do such a thing. That respect comes with maturity. Grow up!

  29. Misty Foster

    It is more than a piece of cloth and this latest use for the flag is yet another symbol of what is going wrong in America! We have an entire generation that is not taught to respect the flag and what it represents. We have a President and First Lady that have 0 respect for our flag. I wonder just how many know what the term, "But our Flag was still there" means in the Star Spangled Banner? Men gave up their life, their bodies piled up high enough for the flag to stand up on its own. Our flag was held upright by a pile of bodies, all who gave their lives to ensure the flag did not touch the ground. I am sure they are rolling over in their graves at the thought of a "tablecloth". Shame on you Chris. for your comments. It is my hope that you are not American. If you are, get educated!

  30. Misty Foster

    I think the problem is that we have been living in Freedom so long that it is being taken for granted. I had an ancestor that was put in prison because he refused to baptize his children as Puritans. Once released from prison, he fled to the new colonies. A whole lot of fighting and loss of life went into what the Flag represents. A whole lot of fighting and loss of life still goes on today to protect those same freedoms. Sadly, a good portion of today's youth could care less. They feel they are entitled to everything and have no respect.

  31. Ben Miller

    I served under that flag, and am a proud, 100% disabled veteran due to injuries I received serving under it. Many others didn't even come home. I don't care if it's a law or if it's a recommendation, show a little damn respect for people like me and more importantly, for all those who lost their lives defending it.

  32. Ben Miller

    You're a piece of garbage with no respect for disabled veterans like me or the the many, many others who gave their lives defending that "piece of cloth.' Take a look at the pledge of allegiance- "And to the Republic, FOR WHICH IT STANDS…" That flag is a symbol of our country and treating it with disrespect is the same as disrespecting our country. Good Lord, I would love to have this conversation with you in person…

  33. Christine White

    Heather Johnson you are what's wrong with this country in every way, shape and form! And if you are some kind of "parenting patch" writer that scares the crap out of me! YOU are out there writing articles for parents yet you can't see what Chatal and Barbara are saying about our American flag? Do a bit of history research will you please? Read up on WWI, WWII, all the wars our vets died for to give YOU the freedom to say the stupid things like this! Otherwise you'd live in a country where you'd be shot for just writing on sites like this or any other – simply because you're a woman. Now – after you do that history lesson, go to Veteran's home, or an Elks lodge in your hometown and get to know a few vets. Ask them about their sacrifices. After that, THEN tell us if you still feel the same way about your "recommendations " rather than law!

  34. Ben Miller

    Charles D. Morgan People like this don't understand the respect that those of us who served have for our flag. We would gladly put our lives on the line to defend and retrieve it under enemy fire, because it stands for this great nation and all those who died defending it. God (note the capital "G") help anyone I see using the flag for a damn tablecloth.

  35. Ben Miller

    To put it as plainly and clearly as possible, Heather- If you use that flag as a tablecloth and I or any of my fellow veterans see it, expect your little picnic lunch to be launched to the ground as we retrieve the flag that so many lives were lost defending.

  36. Christine White

    To read the "chill out" commenters here, I just want to cry at how far gone so many in our country have gone! You have NO idea what price so many in our country have paid and continue to pay for YOUR right to say such idiotic things! Go live in a Communist country for a few months, come back here and tell us then – how do you feel about your free country and that so called "piece of cloth" that represents those freedoms you have now? All you commentors who are so flippant and rude about our flag and what it represents – keep it mind it's the blood shed, the lives lost, the freedoms gained and the freedoms you HAVE TODAY because of those lives – none of you have EVER EVERRRR been taught respect for your country and the people who fight for YOU and I! I'm disgusted and saddened at the same time but I now truly understand why this country is in the position it is today. I feel like buying a log home in the middle of forest with no internet or phones and waiting it out till I die so I never have to see or hear crap like this for the rest of my days but I know that it's not the thing to do. We that know the price paid in this country, the ones that know how good we have it here have to keep fighting for those of you that are ignorant or we'll ALL end up in a Communist China type of country. Truly, if you want that? GO LIVE THERE and leave us to our freedoms that we enjoy today – please!

  37. Dina Garcia

    Yet no one is offended when our flag is turned into a bikini, board shorts or shirt?? Please explain the difference?? To me I would think its a complement on bringing patriotism right to the dinner table I do not see it as disrespectful.

  38. Love Lee Nickerson

    While I don't have a strong opinion on this, I believe the difference is that this is an actual American flag whereas the image on a bikini or shirt is merely an image. Once the barbecue sauce stains the "tablecloth," people could be inclined to throw out the flag. That is different from throwing out a stained t-shirt.

  39. Dina Garcia

    I think the staining would happen with a cloth flag, the show suggested a nylon flag that would clean easily. Honestly I do not feel strongly either way but with 4th of July coming I thought it would be cute.

  40. June Jankowski Coll

    that flag should either be flying or draped over a coffin. PERIOD! I suggest you people with all your negative comments, go back to school and learn about your country instead of disrespecting it! YOU are 1/2 the problem in this country today! Learn about the brave men and women who fought for this country and died for it so YOU could be part of a free nation flying under our FLAG of the UNITED STATES! but then again, you cant argue with ignorance or stupidity!

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