In an effort at full disclosure and all that, HGTV has announced:
"This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened,” HGTV said in a statement late Wednesday. “We sincerely apologize and have removed the post from our website. We want to assure our fans that HGTV is proud of the American flag and everything it symbolizes for our people.”All of which pretty much only makes the whole thing worse.
I'm sure they do regret it, if only for the reasons I point out above. Just as a quick strategic aside, when you puke on your plate in public like this, don't sweep it off the table, cover it decently with a transparent effort to make amends by pointing out something like the Smithsonian website I did and make a teachable moment of your apology. Thank your audience for their assistance in expanding your base of knowledge and encourage them to do so when you inevitably prove your humanity (which is "to err") yet again on some future occasion.
Not bury it away from plain view and hide behind the sack cloth (which is colored how?).
Finally, and on a much more important note; Happy Birthday, Dad. Our shared uncertainty about the impact of humanities carbon footprint on the world around us notwithstanding, asking anybody to blow out 80 candles all in one go still seems a bit much, so this instead.