AMARILLO, Texas — A Pilot Flying J spokesperson says an employee was “misinformed” about the reason the truck stop chain was not flying the American flag at its location here.
“I went inside the Pilot and I asked them … they said they had an issue with foreigners coming here and complaining, and they didn’t want to lose the foreigners’ business so they took it down,” Moore said in the video, which has gained 3.4 million views since it was posted.
The real reason, according to Pilot Flying J spokesperson Stephanie Myers, is the fact that the flagpole is broken and currently being replaced.
“Our current policy is that an American flag can only be displayed at our locations if it can be flown according to military protocol,” Myers said. “What many may not know is there are very specific rules and protocols to properly fly a flag, everything from how it’s raised and flown to how it’s lit at night. Our goal is to ensure we show the flag the respect it deserves at our locations that fly the red, white and blue. We are currently surveying our locations with flagpoles to review if they are in proper working condition.”
Myer said Pilot Flying J is “proudly American” and was founded by Korean War veteran James A. “Jim” when he opened the first Pilot on November 20, 1958, in Gate City, Virginia, paying $6,000 for an existing location. Gas costs 27.9 cents per gallon at the time.
“Pilot Flying J shows that pride in all of our locations, whether that’s a flag outside, promoting military products in our stores, or through our many philanthropic efforts with organizations such as Bunker Labs, Fisher House Foundation, Operation Honor Guard, Special Operations Wounded Warrior, and Wreaths Across America, Myer said.
Pilot Flying J is the largest operator of travel centers in North America, with more than 750 locations in 43 states and six Canadian provinces. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, the company employs more than 26,000 people.
The Haslam family still owns the company, with Jimmy Haslam as CEO.
Jimmy Haslam also owns the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
Lyndon Finney’s publishing career spans over 55 years beginning with a reporter position with the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1965. Since then he’s been a newspaper editor at the Southwest Times Record, served five years as assistant managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and from November 2004 through December 2019 served as editor of The Trucker. Between newspaper jobs he spent 14 years as director of communications at Baptist Health, Arkansas’ largest healthcare system. In addition to his publishing career he served for 46 years as organist at Little Rock’s largest Baptist church.