After two years of wearing an American flag pin on his jacket lapel, the front desk supervisor at a downtown hotel in St. Augustine, Florida was told to “remove it or go home.” He chose to go home, and now he has been fired for his actions. It’s one thing for a hotel or any company to have appearance guidelines, and it’s quite another to suppress a modest show of patriotism. We should be promoting patriotism… not punishing it.
His name is Sean May and he is at the heart of a brewing story between his supporters and the Casa Monica Hotel management and ownership. Here’s the story:
But now, the hotel has taken further action. From being sent home, May has now been fired. The hotel responded to questions asked by News 4 in Jacksonville by issuing the following statement:
“The Casa Monica Hotel located in St. Augustine, Florida, is an American-based, homegrown historic hotel,” the email reads. “The property reflects its pride in America and great patriotism by flying the Stars and Stripes high over the hotel. The American flag greets every guest and employee with its symbolism of our belief in this great country.”
“However, our employee handbook clearly states, ‘No other buttons, badges, pins or insignias of any kind are permitted to be worn.’ No matter an individual’s national preference, political views or religious affiliation, it is a standard regulation which ensures equality for all Grand Performers (employees).”
What do you think? Dress code violation or suppression of patriotism? St. Johns county Commissioner Mark Miner had this to say:
“The Casa Monica Hotel and Kessler Enterprise certainly have the legal right to forbid their employees from wearing an American flag pin. However, their inability to discern between the flag of our nation and other pins and buttons that their policies forbid is of great concern to me. St. Johns County is home to nearly 20,000 military veterans and is made up of an ideologically and culturally diverse population whose collective love for the United States is second to none. I want to make clear that the actions taken by the Casa Monica Hotel and Kessler Enterprise do not represent the patriotism shared by St. Johns County residents and businesses.”
“I hope Kessler Enterprise will act quickly to correct the disrespect they have shown the flag of our great nation and end the embarrassment they have brought upon St. Johns County.”
I understand the idea of uniformity for employees and thus the need for a standardized set of guidelines and appearance policies. But this is insane. The man has been wearing the pin for two years. It’s situations such as this that should remind all of us that common sense is in short supply these days. It’s ok to burn an American flag, but you better not wear an American flag pin on your lapel. Crazy.