The general manager of a Kentucky steakhouse said his restaurant has been flooded with complaints after it put up a Ukraine flag outside its business.
Colton’s Steak House & Grill, located in Bardstown, previously displayed two Texas flags on the exterior of the restaurant, but switched one to a Ukraine flag shortly after the country was invaded by Russia.
Residents of the rural Kentucky town thought the restaurant had replaced an American flag, not a Texas flag.
“People start sending me screenshots and reading hateful sentiments to me from some local Facebook groups,” the general manager said in a Facebook post. “Shortly after that people are calling the store asking me why we replaced the American flag.”
To remedy the situation, Colton’s replaced its other Texas flag with an American flag.
The Ukraine flag has special meaning to Ben Ashlock, the general manager of the restaurant. He told WDRB he adopted a son from the eastern European country and has friends there.
“I’ll check on them every day,” Ashlock said, according to WDRB. “I mean, every day and ... they’re so discouraged over there right now.”
Ukraine has been at war with Russia for nearly two months, and thousands are believed to have been killed.
Ashlock said he displayed the Ukraine flag as a way to support the country and show its concern, according to WDRB.
“I’m grateful. I’m hurt. I’m hopeful. I’m discouraged,” he said in the Facebook post. “And one thing I’ll always be is honest with you. And honestly, I wish we treated each other better behind keyboards.”