Rug depicting Portuguese flag causes outrage at Porto luxury hotel

A rug has caused a huge wave of outrage on social media this week. The reason: it depicts the Portuguese flag and was laid across the lobby of a five-star hotel in Porto.

Many took to the comment section of Torel Avantgarde’s Facebook page to lambast the hotel, calling the use of the rug “hugely disrespectful” and a “disgrace”.

“The national flag shouldn’t be used to wipe your shoes,” former Minister of Internal Administration Rui Pereira told Correio da Manhã.

Coronel Duarte Costa from the military was also cited by newspapers.

“Seeing the national flag transformed into a rug, used as a common doormat, hurts me at my deepest core as a Portuguese citizen,” he said, adding: “Yes, it should be forbidden. Yes, this lack of respect is punishable by law. Yes, I felt embarrassed. Yes, Portugal deserved better.”

However, the hotel claims it only ever meant to “honour and celebrate Portugal”.

“Our hotel is decorated exclusively with works by Portuguese artisans, artists and designers in a bid to value and promote national talent,” the hotel said on its Facebook page.

“Portugal is highlighted in our decoration and gastronomy and everything else. The carpet in the lobby was a way to honour and celebrate our country,” it added.

Following the backlash, the hotel admitted it had no choice but to remove the carpet.

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