NEW BRITAIN-- A massive outrage on social media has emerged around an American flag allowed to touch the ground at a local McDonald's.
A picture taken and posted on a Facebook page, "Stolen Valor" shows two workers of the McDonald's on West Main Street in New Britain next to a flag on the ground.
The owner and operator of the franchise, Joe Rodriguez tells Fox Connecticut a store training manager was in the process of replacing an old flag in front of the store earlier this month.
Rodriguez said the manager who attempted to change the flag did not have the knowledge of the proper way to handle a flag.
"He didn`t know the procedures, he dragged it on the ground and someone was here and took a picture and put it on Facebook," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says his franchise is receiving constant phone calls from people who've seen the picture and are upset. He says one of the store manager in the picture has received death threats.
Rodriguez told Fox Connecticut there was no "ill-intent" and says it was unintentional mistake.
"We apologize, we`re taking every measure, ever precaution it will never happen," said Joe Rodriguez, the West Main St. New Britain McDonald's franchise owner and operator.
The days and weeks after the picture circulated on Facebook--- many felt the actions of the employees disrespected the American flag.
The Stolen Valor Facebook group has 327,000 likes and many veterans reacted to the picture.
We spoke to a few veterans at the Hannon-Hatch VFW Post 9929 in West Hartford.
Many of these vets are often handling and arranging the American flag .
"I can see where an accident can happen where it could drop on the ground," said Leo Fitzpatrick, chaplin for the Hannon-Hatch VFW 929 post.
"I'll give him a break, a big break. People should not bother him for that, not at all," said Steve Polzun, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970.
Polzun said more emphasis on "flag etiquette" should be taught to children in school.
"It hurts, it does bother me. You have to realize the age of the person because what knowledge do they really have? Polzun said.
Many of the Facebook posts called for the employee to be fired.
Rodriguez says he decided not to, instead giving him a second chance.
"We rectified the situation we met with him, and we taught him, re-trained everyone how to handle the flag accordingly," Rodriguez said.
The Franchise owner says the situation has bothered him even more because his father served for the country, as a U.S Marine during the Vietnam War.
"We respect our veterans, we support them, we do a lot of community involvement with them," Rodriguez said.