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Lowe's Selling American Flag Doormats?

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Lowe's American Flag Doormats

Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Viral text claims Lowe's home improvement stores are selling American flag doormats and expresses outrage on behalf of U.S. veterans.

Description: Viral text / Forwarded email
Circulating since: May 2012
Status: Outdated (see details below)


Example:
Email contributed by Laura D., May 23, 2012:

Lowe's is now selling American Flag doormats

To all Concerned,

Lowe's is now selling American Flag doormats. As Memorial day and 4th of July is approaching, many stores are trying to increase their profits. Needless to say, the selling of American Flag doormats has many Veterans upset.

Veterans feel that they fought for the American Flag, many losing their lives, and many permanently injured for the freedoms that the American Flag represents, yet Lowe's is now selling the American Flag as a doormat, "something to be walked on, and something to wipe your feet on", as one veteran put it. "Are they slapping our faces or what", asked another veteran. The V.F.W, the American Legion, and several other organizations were immediately contacted. A veteran with 33 years in the U.S. Navy, had gone to Lowe's to buy $300.00 worth of lumber to build a fence, but when he saw the American Flag doormat, he flipped out, made Lowe's take back the lumber and refund his money. Several others walked out of the store. At the Lowe's in N. Charleston, SC, the manager took all the doormats off of display because of complaints and called Lowe's headquarters to report the consumer's and veterans complaints. Those who grew up respecting the American Flag, and those who fought to defend it, would never let the American Flag touch the ground, much less use it as a doormat, to walk on or wipe your feet on it!

Most likely these doormats are made in China, but they are distributed by: Mohawk Home 3032 Sugar Valley Rd., NW Sugar Valley, Georgia 30746 Please pass this on to as many people you can. Some of us still respect and love America and our Flag, and what it represents. God Bless America & DO NOT walk or wipe your feet on the flag!!!!



May 30, 2013 update: I've received a direct communication from Lowe's public relations manager Karen Cobb stating that no doormats featuring red, white, and blue patterns or designs representing the American flag are currently sold at any Lowe's stores.

Analysis: A May 23, 2012 news report from KTVI-TV in St. Louis confirmed that at least some Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse outlets had been selling doormats featuring a red, white, and blue abstract design reminiscent of the American flag.

According to the report, a Vietnam veteran noticed the red, white, and blue welcome mats in a Memorial Day display at the Lowe's store in Lake St. Louis, Missouri and complained to the manager, who at first defended them on the basis that the design wasn't a literal depiction of the American flag but ultimately removed the items from the shelves anyway. As of the date of that report, the doormats remained on sale at other nearby locations.

On May 26, 2012, I received the following statement from Lowe's spokesperson Karen Cobb:

Lowe's has a longstanding history of commitment and support to our country and to the men and women who have served in the military. The company was founded on the heels of World War II by a veteran and Lowe's is recognized as one of the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers in the U.S.; currently providing jobs for more than 14,000 veterans.

We try to offer a variety of products that allow customers to express their personal pride, patriotism and love for our country. Lowe's offers home decorations, including mats, with red, white and blue designs, but none of these mats have the actual image of the U.S. flag. We apologize if the designs were misinterpreted or our intentions were misunderstood. We meant no disrespect.

The product in question didn't appear to be available for purchase on the Lowe's website, but an example of what the doormat looked like can be seen in the KPLR-TV news video here.

A note on Big Lots stores: The same (or similar) "patriotic doormats" were apparently being sold at Big Lots home improvement stores as well, until May 18, 2012, when this statement was posted on Big Lots' Facebook page:

We value our customers feedback on the American flag doormats. Big Lots would never intentionally dishonor our countries flag or the Men and Women of the Armed Services. The American flag doormats are being pulled from our store shelves. Thank you for continuing to shop at Big Lots.


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Sources and further reading:

Veteran Upset Over Store Selling American Flag Doormats
KTVI-TV News, 23 May 2012

Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Mission Statement
About.com: Retail Industry


Last updated 05/30/13

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