Don’t Tread on Me: Lowes and Big Lots Pull Doormat With American Flag Décor After Urban Legend Email
In May, when a Vietnam veteran saw a doormat at a Lowe’s store with a patriotic design that included stripes and stars, he complained to the manager. In the weeks that followed, a viral email claiming Lowe’s was selling American Flag doormats made in China caused such an outcry in social media and a generating of complaints from such vet organizations as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Lowe’s as well as another retailer, Big Lots decided to pull the mats from their shelves.
In the weeks that followed, a fraudulent email, claiming Lowe’s was selling American Flag doormats began to spread like wildfire throughout the internet.
In response to the viral email, several websites responded to the claims made and rebuffed the myths generated by the email. Snopes.com and About.com both called the viral email a contemporary urban legend.
According to Karen Cobb, Public Relations Manager at the Lowe’s Corporate Office in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s is committed to honoring the veterans of the United States, the mats in question were not an image of the American Flag and that U.S. themed home decorations available at Lowe’s are made in America not in China.
“Lowe's has a very long history of commitment and support to our military and our veterans,” said Cobb. “We try to offer products in our stores that will allow our customers the opportunity to express their own personal pride, patriotism and love for their country.
“We certainly apologize if any of the designs on any of our products in our stores have been misinterpreted or if our intentions have been misunderstood, because we mean no disrespect to anyone. We fly the flag in all of our stores. We are a company that was founded by a World War II veteran, right after World War II. Throughout our history, we have worked with military organizations and communities across the country,” she said.
In support of Cobb’s claims, Lowe’s recently sponsored a welcome home celebration for thousands of Vietnam veterans at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina and is currently helping the USO to refurbish and remodel 16 USO centers in the U.S.
Big Lots also responded on their Facebook Page to the claim “We value our customer’s 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."