What Sandy Nuyts thought was a proud display of patriotism turned out to be an “offensive” symbol for one patron at a Nevada casino.
Whiskey Maiden, a local Las Vegas-based country music cover band that regularly plays in Southern California, is known for lead singer Nuyts’ powerhouse vocals, its affinity for bourbon, and a large American flag scarf draped over Nuyts’ microphone stand.
But Friday night, in the middle of a Fathers Day Weekend run at a casino in Nevada, Nuyts was asked by a casino supervisor to remove the scarf from the mic stand, as someone had found the display “offensive.”
Nuyts, who described herself as being “completely caught off guard” by the situation, and despite arguing her position to the casino supervisor, eventually agreed to remove it, not wanting to leave her four bandmates without a paycheck. She apologized to two retired military officers in the audience who were upset by its removal.
The following evening, the American flag scarf was absent from the stage, and without identifying the casino, Nuyts took to social media explaining her situation. Some comments criticized Nuyts for an improper display of the flag, although the item in question is actually a scarf/vest.
“I have two Grandfathers and an Uncle that are retired military along with several friends that have served or are currently serving overseas,” Nuyts wrote in a statement. “I am VERY thankful for them and ALL of the brave men and woman [sic] who serve our country. I am VERY proud to be an American and I would not want ever want to live anywhere else. I have many articles of clothing that have stars and stripes and I wear them proudly to show my love for this great country just as people do for their favorite sports team (for example). I would never disrespect “THE” flag. I am shocked that my patriotism is being frowned on.”
According to the American Legion, unless the article of clothing in question is made from an actual American flag, there is no breach of etiquette.
Nuyts went on to emphasize that her beef is not with the specific casino, calling it a “horrible lapse in judgment on security.”
The singer said she wore patriotic-themed shirts for the next two nights of their run at the casino. She was not asked to remove them.