I think it is embarrassing for the hotel to not allow an American Flag pin, but I do see their point. If the uniform dress standard forbids pins and badges, then this was meant to disallow all forms of speech. Can you imagine the trouble they would have if they allowed "pro-life" or NRA badges but not "Jesus Loves You?" On this one, I vote for the hotel.
Is it disgraceful, yes. Will I go there while in the JAX area for work, heck no even if it was free. Is the policy right...I have to agree with Pingreeman. I think having a zero tolerance policy allows them to effect a standard of uniform/dress that the owners want. I think that the policy allows them to expressly prohibit stuff people find distasteful and probably cuts down on more complaints than it spawns. In this case though, common sense and discretion should have played a MUCH larger role in the events. Knowing which battles to pick is of HUGE importance when it comes to running a company and these guys have made two HUGE mistakes IMHO. First was the supervisor, he should have known better than to go after the American flag, his decision was wrong before he even uttered a word. The second mistake, now the hotel is standing behind him when they should have distanced themselves from the supervisor's choice.
Sadly there is no real positive outcome to this one and further shows that you must think through your decisions fully before you act, particularly in a position of authority. In this day and age of social/connected living a story like this could cause a great deal of headache for the company.
Here's what I can pass along from our Global Communications team:
We are aware of the recent matter at the Casa Monica Hotel and reaction it has caused. The hotel, which is independently owned and operated by The Kessler Enterprise, Inc., has a license agreement with Marriott International allowing the hotel access to Marriott's global reservations and customer systems. Marriott International does not own, operate or manage the hotel, and as such none of the hotels employees are employed by Marriott and the policies developed and implemented in this situation are specific to that hotel owner and manager.