Business apologizes for flag etiquette mistake by employee, offers training

A local businessman is publicly apologizing and inviting a Marine to teach his staff about flag etiquette after a video was posted online of an employee improperly taking down a U.S. flag.

Indiana Smokehouse owner Matt Gatesy usually raises the large 10-foot flag and lowers it at his business every day, always in a respectful manner, he said Thursday.

But on Wednesday, one of his employees, who is a dishwasher, went out to lower the flag instead, while Gatesy was washing dishes in the restaurant.

The teen was videotaped. He allowed the flag to touch the ground and then being wadded up in the his arms before being carried inside.

The video was sent to social media and has been circulating, something that has caused Gatesy to lose sleep over since the incident happened.

“I don’t want people to think that this represents the morals of our company,” Gatesy said of the video.

Since the video has been out, Gatesy has asked a former Marine, Harrison Haeberle, to teach the Indiana Smokehouse staff how to properly raise, lower and fold the flag. Haeberle is meeting with the employees at 9 p.m. Friday at the restaurant at 2825 Middle Road for the session.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.