This didn't sit well with many HGTV viewers, who took to the network's Facebook page to denounce the idea as "offensive, un-American and an insult to the American military," Starnes says. One example:
Using an American flag as a tablecloth dishonors all Americans who love Old Glory - especially those who gave their lives defending it. No one dies for a tablecloth.
Joe March, a spokesman for the American Legion, tells Fox News using an American flag as an "unconventional table linen," as HGTV deems it, violates the U.S. Flag Code: "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or, merchandise."
Old Glory can be draped over a coffin, but certainly not a table, March tells Fox News: "The flag of the United States is designed to be flown and respected as the symbol of our country.... 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 tablecloth." There is no punishment for violating the Flag Code, March notes — the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that desecrating the flag is protected by the First Amendment.
But that doesn't make it a good idea. On Wednesday afternoon, HGTV issued an apology on its Facebook page. "This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened," the network said. "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."
Read More: The Week