As politically correct as our nation has become, I never thought I would see the day when American flags would be banned from a barbecue competition. That’s something you would expect to happen at a vegetarian cook-off.
Nothing says America quite like smoking a pork butt and flying Old Glory.
“The sport of professional barbecue is extremely American and family oriented,” said pitmaster Jeff Petkevicius.
So you can imagine Jeff’s extreme displeasure when organizers of an Alabama barbecue competition ordered him – along with other competitors to take down the American flags hanging from their barbecue trailers.
It happened Feb. 27th at the Sam’s Club National BBQ Competition in Daphne, Ala., sponsored by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
Jeff is the founder of “Give it to God” competition barbecue — a professional barbecue team that smokes meat and shares the love of Jesus. Both are noble missions.
Last Friday Jeff rolled into town with his barbecue trailer and promptly hoisted Old Glory. Not too long after, one of the organizers of the event told Jeff to take down the flag.
“There were six or eight of us that had flags flying,” he told me. “He went to each camp and told them to take the flag down and everybody did.”
The first rule of barbecue is low and slow – but the temperature started rising after Jeff complied with the directive.
“The whole time I’m thinking –the reason I fly the flag is because I love America,” he said. “I love what it stands for. It’s a way to say to our current and former troops – thank you.”
So Jeff had a change of heart and decided to raise Old Glory – as an act of defiance.
“It was a matter of saying there are things more important (than a barbecue competition),” he said. “If they want to kick me out – I’ll leave.”