Friday , May 29, 2009
Debbie McLucas comes from a patriotic family – her husband and both of her sons served in the U.S. military, and her daughter is currently deployed to Iraq on her second tour of duty as a combat medic.
So when McLucas arrived at work at a Texas hospital last Friday, she was stunned to be told that the Stars and Stripes she had hung in her office in advance of Memorial Day were offensive, and that the flag had been removed.
“I got into work, I was met by my supervisor and told that there had been multiple complaints, that people found the flag very offensive and it had been taken down," McLucas told FOXNews.com.
"I went to the office to retrieve it and found the flag wrapped around the pole, sitting in the corner on the ground. I was speechless."
McLucas, a supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas, had displayed the 3-by-5-foot flag in the office she shares with the hospital’s three other supervisors. McLucas said one of her colleagues, a woman who immigrated to the United States from Africa 14 years ago, complained about the flag to upper management, and the hospital decided to take down the flag.
"I was told that as long as my flag offended one person, it would be taken down," McLucas said.
She said the hospital told her that the American flag flying outside the building would have to suffice. "I was told, ‘There is a flag hanging out front, everyone can see that one. Is that not enough?’"
No, she said, that wasn't enough.
"It is more than I can even fathom, that you would find the American flag offensive, in America," McLucas said.
A Kindred Healthcare spokeswoman did not return calls for comment. Kindred issued a press release stating, “Kindred Hospital Mansfield has a great deal of appreciation for the service that many of our employees and their families have given to their country. We honor our veterans and active military through a variety of benefits and service programs. This was an isolated incident between two employees that we are working to resolve amicably.”
The statement went on to explain: “The disagreement was over the size of the flag and not what it symbolized. We have invited the employee to put the flag back up.”
And it will go back up and stay up, McLucas said.
"I do think they're trying to do the right thing. I have no reason to believe the flag won't remain there as long as I'm employed."