Earlier this week, Debbie McLucas, a supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas, was told she would have to take down a 3×5 American flag that she had hung near her desk in an office she shares with three other supervisors. Her boss told her a fellow supervisor, who had immigrated to the United States from Africa 14 years earlier, found it “offensive.” The hospital says it received other complaints from visitors. These must be the type of hospital visitors who stumble upon staff offices as well as close their eyes walking into the building, since the stars and stripes waves proudly outside.
Well, sometimes these stories work out. After mounting public pressure and protests, the hospital system relented, mumbled some excuses, and allowed McLucas to re-hang the flag. All’s well that ends well, right? Not really. According to hospital policy, it only took one person to complain before the flag was removed. It required a nationwide protest to get the flag reinstalled. Isn’t there a certain backwards logic to this story? McLucas, a proud mother of a combat medic in Iraq, with military sons and a military husband, was put through a terrible ordeal, and for what? Her words were: “I find it very frightening because if I can’t display my flag, what other freedoms will I lose before all is said and done?” Exactly. What’s next?