India threatens Amazon expelling over flag doormats

January 11, 2017 10:30 pm

’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, the US, on September 26, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has threatened to cancel the visas of all foreign Amazon employees after discovering the online retailer was selling Indian flag doormats.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday.
“If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the visas issued earlier,” she added.
She also contacted the Indian High Commission in Canada, calling on them to take up the incident with Amazon “at the highest level.”
Swaraj was informed of the doormats on Tuesday via a Twitter user who sent her a screen shot of the doormats. The user had also urged her to censure Amazon Canada.
The mats, which were being sold by a third-party and described as “personalized durable machine-washable indoor/outdoor items,” were removed a few hours after the tweets.
“The item is no longer for sale on the site,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
India, like many counties, has a Flag Code that determines how their national symbol must be treated. It requires, among other provisions, that the flag should never come in contact with the ground, or be printed on furniture or clothing.
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