TRAVERSE CITY — Officials at a local gun and lock shop fired an employee for flying the American flag upside down as a political statement and using a racial slur to describe President-elect Barack Obama, they said.
Rod Nyland of Traverse City was fired Thursday from Hampel's Inc. after about 25 years of employment there, and about a day after he referred to Obama as a n-----, said salesman Jack Fellows and locksmith Tom Hampel.
"He's out and we've taken actions to apologize to the community for his action," Fellows said.
Fellows and Hampel, son of owner Karl Hampel, spoke with the Record-Eagle today. They said they were embarrassed by the incident and wanted to publicly apologize.
"It's a huge embarrassment for me and I take this personally. I'm a Hampel and I'm very embarrassed about this," Hampel said.
They said Nyland raised the inverted flag on his own, without the knowledge of Karl Hampel.