Flying the flag

2009

A story comes out of Texas about a woman who was ordered to take down her American flag at work. There are a number of things that bother me here. The first, of course, was the fact that Texas wanted to secede from the US a few weeks ago, now they want the "freedom" to display the American flag? Jeez, make up your minds already . . .

The flag means different things to different people, which isn't surprising. As such, a difference in interpretation could lead to tensions in the workplace. As a manager, one important function is to maintain a professional atmosphere or mutual respect in order to keep productivity and morale.

I find the colleague who was offended by the presence of the flag (especially since the article mentions that they aren't even from the US) a bit rich. I couldn't see myself complaining at work because someone displayed a French flag. As a guest in their country, I'd likely keep any reservations to myself.

At the end of the day, the employee was allowed to display her flag, to her obvious happiness. I just wonder if she feels like she's made some sort of statement; most of us just want to hang pictures of our families or pets, not a nylon flag. Perhaps this little lesson will encourage her employer to clearly define rules about what can or cannot be displayed on workplace property.

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