Colton's Steak House and Grill in Bardstown, Kentucky was accused of replacing an American flag with the Ukrainian flag. Members of the small Kentucky town threw a fit.
Residents of rural Bardstown bombarded the restaurant with aggressive calls and Facebook messages after the business put up the Ukrainian flag to indicate their support for the vulnerable nation.
However the establishment never had an American flag up in the first place.
Before the Ukraine flag was raised, there were two Texas flags displayed on either side of the building's entranceway.
General Manager Ben Ashlock, having strong ties to the European country, decided to replace one of the Texas flags with the Ukraine flag to show the restaurant's support for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion and tragic destruction of the country.
Ashlock has an adopted son from Ukraine and several friends within its borders. In an interview, Ashlock said he checks on his friends every day.
Ashlock took to the restaurant's Facebook page to clear up the misunderstanding.
"Yesterday was a surreal day."
"We were short-staffed in the kitchen so myself and the other managers were all locked in functions."
"Suddenly a message comes in on our Facebook page. I took a minute to address it."
"Then people start sending me screenshots and reading hateful sentiments to me from some local Facebook groups."
"Shortly after that people are calling the store asking me why we replaced the American flag."
Ashlock then explained in the post he was pulled away from the calls to tend to the many patrons at the restaurant.
He went on to say:
"As I have previously stated, there has always been two Texas flags at the front of the store."
"So no American flag was replaced."
"The Texas flag on the right remained and we put a Ukraine flag in the place of the left one."
"To hopefully eliminate any further confusion, last night we replaced the Texas flag to the right with a USA flag."
In response to his Facebook post, one person commented:
"Thank you for flying the American flag and the Ukrainian flag."
"May we always be mindful that we are only one tyrant away from losing our republic."
Tanya Supplee/Facebook; Kathy Wesley Cornelius/Facebook
The issue and misunderstanding also drew notice on Twitter.
Ashlock concluded his post, saying:
"I don’t really know how to end this post. I’m grateful. I’m hurt. I’m hopeful. I’m discouraged."
"And one thing I’ll always be is honest with you."
"And honestly, I wish we treated each other better behind keyboards."
One person replied:
"It's pretty sick that people can't be proud you support a country that has been invaded by another country without provocation or reason."
"Whatever flag you replaced doesn't matter."
"Your thoughtfulness for other people is what matters."
Craig Jagow/Facebook; LeeAnn Napier/Facebook
Someone tweeted Ashlock's words.
"'... honestly, I wish we treated each other better behind keyboards.' - well said and this reminder is needed to all keyboard warriors."
Russia invaded Ukraine about two months ago.
The conflict has left many thousands displaced, separated from family, homeless, critically injured or killed.
While the catastrophe has been put on a global stage, it seems there remain those who are unempathetic in the United States.