Food Lion changes uniform policy when NC veteran quits job after being told to not wear American flag mask

By WECT News

Havelock, N.C. — Gary Dean, 69, wore a neck gaiter with an American flag printed on it to his job at Food Lion in Havelock, North Carolina. But, Food Lion’s uniform policy did not allow for staff members to wear clothing with “writing, insignia or symbols.” Dean’s manager told him that someone was offended by the American flag image, and he was not allowed to wear the mask anymore at work.

Dean is a veteran of the US Air Force, and decided to resign from his job at the Food Lion, saying that the corporate decision went against his personal values.

Food Lion said in a statement that they “have great respect” for the American Flag, but their policy doesn’t allow symbols like the American flag.

“The dress code is meant to ensure a consistent and professional representation of our associates inside of our stores,” Food Lion said in a statement

After a week of the story gaining national attention, Food Lion has changed course. They released an updated statement, and said after listening to employees and customers they decided to change their uniform policy.

“We require that associates wear masks without writing, insignia or symbols. We will allow associates to wear masks with the American flag that meet this standard,” a tweet from Food Lion said.

It is not known whether or not Dean will return to work at Food Lion, WECT reports.

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