LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- One local veteran wants a local hardware chain to stop selling doormats with the American flag on them. He believes the mats are disrespectful to the flag that he and many others have fought to defend.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday evening, the doormats have been removed from the sales floor at the Lake St. Louis location of Lowe's.
As of around 7 p.m., they were still available at other locations, such as Wentzville and St. Peters.
For one local veteran, doormats with the image of Old Glory on them literally violate the old saying, "Don't tread on me."
John F. Kelly and his family are no strangers to the United States military.
"I'm a Vietnam vet. My father was a former aviator in World War II. So it runs deep. My son is in the Coast Guard presently," said John.
John strolled into a Lowe's hardware store near his home in Lake St. Louis, he saw a Memorial Day display that contained doormats with images of the American flag on them, and immediately objected.
"You don't tread on an American flag. You don't wipe dirty boots on them,” said John. “You don't walk on them. That's a patriotic symbol that represents freedom, the country, and the people in it."
When John complained to the store manager, he objected even more to their response.
"The management of the store basically said this didn't represent the United States or the flag. They said this was "Pop Art" and they could do that. He indicated the intent was not to use it as a doormat, but used as a wall plaque or something like that," he stated.
One Lowe's location wouldn't let us shoot video of the Memorial Day display inside the store and referred me to the corporate offices.
The doormats came off the display shelf at the Lake St. Louis store Wednesday afternoon, but John believes this is a corporate problem that affects more than one store.
"I think they'll continue selling it. Until corporate tells each store or puts a policy out to remove all of these and return them to their vendors," he said.
Until that happens, John's mind is made up, "I'm disgusted. I do a lot of personal shopping at that store. And if they don't do something, I'm just not going to go. There's other stores I can go to, and I'm sure the public will do the same."
I contacted Lowe's corporate office in North Carolina and was told they would email me a statement regarding this product, but as of right now, still have not heard back from them.
The rugs are made by a company called Mohawk Home, based out of Sugar Valley, Georgia.