A pair of American Legion officers said they were told they’re not permitted to wear their affiliated jackets at a local restaurant, because they show evidence of gang affiliation.
Victor Murdock and Adrienne Brown of the American Legion Riders Post 179 out of Grandville said they were told they couldn't wear their vests inside the Kentwood Dave & Buster’s. The vests have patches of the American flag, the Prisoner of War flag and a bald eagle.
The Texas-based company said in a statement the group was asked to remove the jackets or turn them inside out, because the business' dress code prohibits evidence of gang affiliation. Spokesperson April Spearman said the policy was in place to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy themselves in a fun and safe environment."
"Though we understand that the American Legion promotes a positive mission, for consistency reasons, we cannot allow motorcycle jackets displaying patches or rockers," she said.
Murdock said he doesn't see how the policy would apply to American Legion affiliates.
"I get it," he said. "Everyone has to have a policy to keep the unwanted element out. But an American flag and a bald eagle does not represent a gang element."
Spearman apologized for the frustration on behalf of the company.
"We are extremely grateful to all of our active military members and veterans and are honored to have them as valued guests in any of our locations," she said. "Our policies are in no way meant to be disrespectful, and we apologize for any frustration this may have caused."