A Kentucky steakhouse is being bombarded with complaints about installing a Ukrainian flag above its front door. Angry patrons believed there was originally an American flag that was replaced by the Ukrainian flag.
In a Facebook post, the general manager of Colton’s Steakhouse & Grill, Ben Ashlock, clarified the situation. Previously, there were two Texas flags in front of their establishment in Bardstown, Kentucky. Despite the chain being based in Arkansas, the restaurant is themed as the Texan wild west, hence the two Texas flags. The manager had simply removed one of the Texas flags and replaced it with a Ukrainian flag.
Ashlock had been shaken up over the hate spewed towards the restaurant, which started over 30 days after the swap out of the Ukrainian flag. He and his staff were receiving constant calls and messages about being unpatriotic and un-American. Residents left one-star reviews, saying they would not eat there again until they saw the national flag.
Others even accused Ashlock of “supporting Nazis” while also believing that the Russia-Ukraine war was not real. A staff member who was answering phones was left in tears after some of the comments.
“Usually if a guest complains, I’m able to easily and quickly remedy it,” Ashlock said. “In this situation, I would’ve violated my conscience. I’m not taking a flag down when a sovereign nation is being attacked.”
Ashlock has close ties with Ukraine, adopting an orphan from the country three years ago. He also has friends in Ukraine that he checks in with on a regular basis.
“It’s particularly upsetting to me when people say the war isn’t real,” Ashlock said. “I get it firsthand from people who are going through it.”
After all the complaints and to eliminate any more confusion, Ashlock decided the remove the remaining Texas flag and replace it with an American flag. The restaurant now has an American flag on the right and a Ukrainian flag on the left.