Olive Garden Bans the American Flag – Update!


Oh, the power of the free market and of bloggers!
Mere hours after the news (of an Olive Garden restaurant in Oxford, Alabama banned a woman, Marti Warren, from bringing an American flag into the restaurant for her Kiwanis Club meeting) went viral, and patriots began inundating Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden, with outraged e-mails, Olive Garden eats crow and has issued an apology:

“We are very sorry for any misunderstanding about this issue. We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office. As a company, we take responsibility for that and we regret it.  We take pride in how we communicate to our restaurants and we are correcting this so it doesn’t happen again. Like all Americans, we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes, and we welcome anyone who wishes to bring the flag into our restaurants. In fact, we periodically provide American flag collar pins to our employees to wear while serving guests.”

The VP of Olive Garden contacted Marti Warren and will be coming to Oxford to personally apologize to all the Golden K Kiwanis Club members.
~Dave & Eowyn

The Olive Garden restaurant in Oxford, Alabama, barred an 80-year-old woman from bringing an American flag into the restaurant for a planned Kiwanis Club banquet.
A report by the AP and WPEC-CBS12.com, October 12, 2011, says Marti Warren of Anniston learned the night of the banquet that she wouldn’t be allowed to display the flag or the Kiwanis banner in the restaurant.
Warren told WBRC-TV, “I was so angry, I felt like I had been slapped in the face.”
Officials with Darden Restaurants, the Orlando-based parent company of Olive Garden restaurants, stand by the decision and released a statement saying that “like all Americans we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes.” However since the Oxford Olive Garden lacks a private dining area, they banned the flag so as “To be fair to everyone and avoid disrupting the dining experience for all other guests.” 

Without a flag at the Kiwanis banquet, Warren said she asked club members to close their eyes and picture the flag waving in the wind as they said the pledge of allegiance.

H/t beloved fellow Tina.
Send Olive Garden an email and let them know what you think. Click here.
H/t beloved FOTM writer DCG


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0 responses to “Olive Garden Bans the American Flag – Update!

  1. That will be another Socialist place that I WON’T EVER stop at again! Bama has a lot of followers! But they are still outnumbered! EVERYBODY needs to quit going there! If you don’t like our flag then “GET THE HEEL OUT” and go to a Socialist country where you belong! Semper Fi.

  2. Olive Garden goes politically-correct/spineless… oh no, it might offend illegal aliens who snuck in!

  3. kathleen abell

    Must be the most detested flag on the face of this earth. For good reason. My mother was born in the US. Thank god she married a Canadian and I grew up in a country that doesn`t attack every other country for trumped up reasons, Evil government. The American people have no voice in a coutry which is supposedly democratic. What a laff!

    • Yeah, we’ll see if you’re still singing that same tune a few years down the road when Sharia law begins spreading throughout your country in earnest.
      Funny how you holier-than-thou residents of the most boring country of white people on Earth are always so critical of the United States – right up until you need us to save your asses.
      BTW: It’s so easy for Canada to be a socialist nation, as we here in the US are the ones footing the bill for the defense of your country.

    • Gosh, I wonder why a Canadian army unit had to be trained for Afghanistan by the U.S. Army — you know, the army of “the most detested flag on the face of this earth” ?

    • Hey..Kathleen… um, America, you know, that wonderful glorious land just South? Guess what… We are a Republic… Our rightful and presently non-negotiable name is “The Republic of the United States of America”…. Key word here… ‘Republic’…not democratic.
      So… “supposedly democratic” is technically not correct! God Bless the USA!

    • Wow Kathleen! It’s unanimous! If I’m not mistaken, there hasn’t been a single AMERICAN attacking other countries for “Trumped up reasons” proir to your ridiculous post, but I do know that Canada is now in hot seat because of you! So tell me, what’s your “trumped up reason,” hmmm? On the other hand, I would like to thank you for providing each and every American the oppurtunity to practice our Freedom of Speech! Brought to you Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue! Call me arrogant if you like, but one thing’s for certain, I don’t mince words!

  4. I’ll tell you what is going to be disruptive to business at the Microwave Garden:
    Thousands of Americans dining out elsewhere once word of this gets out – and get out it will.
    These idiots never learn.

  5. Never eat at this place as I hate their food. And how does a flag “disrupt” business?
    Most detested flag Kathleen? Then why do so many illegals swamp to the USA? What country is the first to respond to natural disasters around the world? You’d be “laffing” all right if the US quit giving your country defense and access to our border. Funny how those that rely on the US for anything are the most ungrateful & spiteful people. Life must suck in Canada…

  6. It is impossible to understand how the American flag would disrupt dining! What an absolutely stupid comment. The Olive Garden has lost a lot of business, including our business! And Kathleen, you have little knowledge, otherwise you would not be making such idiotic comments, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” according to Alexander Pope.

  7. Send Olive Garden an email and let them know what you think.

  8. According to Wikipedia, Darden Restaurants owns and operates 1,800 throughout North America, and has more than 180,000 employees, making it the largest full-service casual dining company, by numbers, in the World. . Darden Restaurants include: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Red Lobster. Darden does not franchise its restaurants in the United States; But Darden’s decision to stand-by the Oxford, Alabama restaurant says a lot about Darden Restaurants Inc.
    The Good Folks in Oxford,Al. should all show up at that restaurant location carrying American Flags and singing God Bless America!
    Maybe That Olive Garden Will Learn A Valuable American Lesson: AMERICANS’ FREEDOM OF CHOICE!

  9. I’ll bet if we’d got some folk in burqahs, who prayed to Mecca and asked other diners “Your women, I want to buy your women– how much for the little girl?” (yes, got it from the Blues Brothers) then Olive Garden would try to be quite tolerant toward us. (The OG here was the source of a local Hepatitis-A outbreak… all this is another good reason not to go there.)

  10. Is this America or Mexirica. I am appalled. The ACLU demands that we not pray over our meals in public places, and now carrying an American Flag into the Olive Garden is restricted. Our way of stopping this sort of non American behavior is begin boycotting these weak disgusting places. Kathleen, next time you or a family member becomes too ill to wait for your Canadian healthcare providers to see you, remember how disgusting you feel the US is when you cross the border to seek care here. Keep your illnesses and your thoughts about America, the greatest land on earth, up there in your Canadian ice hole.

    • When did the ACLU make that demand I would love to know and see them do something about it. The first person who approaches me and tells me I can’t pray over my food will walk away with my food up there A $ $ and all I can say is send them on so I can get to stuffing them full.

  11. Mere hours after this news went viral, and patriots began inundating Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden, with outraged e-mails, Olive Garden eats crow and has issued an apology.
    See my Update at the top of this post!

  12. GF,
    Olive Garden’s turnaround was so quick, I almost got whiplash. LOL
    Now, if only the free market had the same effect on those elected government officials…. So much for “accountability.” Bah!

  13. Sounds sincere I guess…I’d be even more impressed about their respect for the flag if starting tomorrow, they flew one outside every restaurant. That would score major points in my book!
    Glad he’s going to apologize in person – that’s cool.

  14. The really sad (not to mention scary) thing here is that chickensh*t political correctness has apparently made it into Alabama.
    I might could understand if this were an Olive Garden located in California, Oregon, New York, or the Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts.
    But Alabama?
    Damn, have we really sunk this far?

  15. Company policy is always a misunderstanding when pressure is applied.
    I am glad it works, but not for me.
    I have gone to Olive Garden for years either the family.
    About two to three times a month.
    Well; I am going to another Italian Resturaunt from now on.
    I also refuse to go to Homo Depot also. I spent a lot of money but it is elsewhere.

  16. When I think of Darden Restaurants, boomerang and bad food come to mind.

  17. Donna Brantley

    That reply is the same thing they’re pasting all over their facebook page today. The position has been fluid though. According to their OWN statements before this happened, the flag was only permitted if in isolated rooms. In fact, their statement changed from “its a policy not to allow anything that could distract diners” to “it was a miscommunication” to “our team in Alabama made a mistake” to now “WHAT, of course you can always bring a flag in, you silly person!” When they threw the Alabama restaurant under the bus for following their own bad policy, well, that’s when they lost my respect completely!
    NOW the policy is what it should have always been, yet they want you to forget that 1. they wanted to originally ban the flag 2. when it became a public relations nightmare, they changed their position, and blamed a restaurant for properly carrying out the bad corporate policy.
    This evolving “apology” makes it clear to me that they are not sorry, they’re just scared like crazy, that they will lose customers making good on their “Ban Olive Garden” rants, and are just saying whatever they need to say to make it go away.

  18. The people in my company and the 4 main groups I run have put them on boycott permanently. Any company in this country who receives the protection and freedom to run there business here should be boycotted if they deny this.
    Its a slap in every Americans face and would be like spitting into the face of our military.
    BOYCOTT OLIVEGARDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. This 80 year old woman was looking for her 15 minutes of fame and got
    it. With all the problems in the world, this is where the Kiwanis club makes their stand? Most restaurants don’t let you come in and randomly hang things on the wall so it’s not an issue of being anti-american. Didn’t the Kiwanis club run a boys camp in Olympia Washington where they beat kids? Why is anyone even listening to them?

    • I’m sure this was the 80 year old woman’s agenda – 15 minutes of fame, right….
      How do we know she was going to hang a flag on the wall? It merely says “display” the American flag. She did have a Kiwanis banner, so I’m assuming she wanted to hang that.
      Whatever the case, the restaurant listened to them because this is America and we have great pride in displaying the flag.

  20. She was so outraged but stayed to eat? Probably went home and saw an excuse to complain and get a free gift card. If it was coordinated, like grouchyfogy maintains, she should have asked if it was allowed. I agree with the 15 minutes comment. This whole thing was blown out of proportion. Served 8 years in Marines and not at all offended because this is ridiculous.

  21. Thought my buddy was joking when he told me about this. I’m stationed at Ft. Gillem, GA and we at at OG all the time. Were they really trying to ban the flag, I don’t think they would let us eat there in uniform. This is nonsense.

    • Lt.Thomas-I received a reply from them saying they were really sorry. After I received that letter from Olive Garden,I was told they had made the no American flag,policy. I actually think every business in America should display our flag. Whether I enter olive garden now,will depend on if they are displaying an American flag or not. Michelle Obama was involved with these chains. So nothing would surprise me.

      • The only involvement with Michelle Obama is that they are offering healthier options for kids. Why are so many people outraged that she is as disgusted as I am about the amount of overweight children. I remember when the fat kid in school was the exception. Now it’s normal to be a 12 yr old boy with a b cup. My only problem with OG is that they don’t cut people of after 10 bowls of never ending pasta. When your first request, upon entering a restaurant, is a chair with no arms….

        • It is none of the muslim/communists business. Now,how about those ducks?

        • Offering healthier options is fine. The outrage should be directed at the parents that aren’t capable of parenting their children. But alas, it’s a free country and people are free to get as fat as they want.
          As for Michelle’s intentions, they are questionable. Michelle Malkin recently summed up the FLOTUS and her partnership w/OG (owned by Darden Restaurants):
          “In a normal, free-market environment, of course, business executives take their cue from customers — not from the East Wing. At a time when most food service providers are struggling under the weight of increased taxes, health care mandates, and regulations, Darden Restaurants just happens to be one of the few and fortunate businesses to obtain one of those coveted Obamacare waivers. Quid pro quo: It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

    • “Lt. Thomas” (assuming you really are a Lieutenant),
      I’m surprised that a man in uniform would peremptorily call my post “nonsense.” I have source links. And you, sir, are rude, full-of-yourself, and offensive.

      • Eowyn,
        A Marine recruit barely out of high school and only half way through boot camp could kick an Army LT’s ass in his sleep.
        Trust me – my dad is a Marine and went through Parris Island back in the very early 1950s, when AC was just the privilege of the very few – none of whom resided on that facility.

    • Heh, little wonder sergeants actually run the Army.

  22. Please post the link stating OG’s official policy banning the American flag in any of their restaurants, as the title of this article suggests, and I will gladly apologize.

    • You clearly have trouble with (a) reading; and (b) comprehending what “Olive Garden bans the American flag” means.
      In my post, I referenced a news report by the AP and WPEC-CBS12.com, that “Officials with Darden Restaurants, the Orlando-based parent company of Olive Garden restaurants, stand by the decision and released a statement saying that since the Oxford Olive Garden lacks a private dining area, they banned the flag so as “To be fair to everyone and avoid disrupting the dining experience for all other guests.”
      And that’s why I titled my post “Olive Garden bans American flag.”
      After the news went viral, Olive Garden issued an apology: “We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office.”
      Now if you can’t read or can’t understand what you’d read, that’s your problem. Just don’t call my post “nonsense.”
      I’m curious: Are all men in uniform (assuming you really are a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army) as rude as you?

  23. So this is yellow journalism at its best. Thank you for explaining.

    • Thank you for confirming to me that you are not only rude, but go out of your way to insult. If you really are a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, America is in serious trouble, because we have a man in uniform — of lieutenant rank! — who is reading- and comprehension-challenged.