McDonald's is flipping its iconic arches upside down in an unprecedented statement

  • A McDonald's in Lynwood, California, has turned its golden-arches sign upside down.

  • The change was made in "celebration of women everywhere," according to the company.

  • McDonald's is flipping its logo on all digital channels to celebrate International Women's Day on Thursday.

People driving by a McDonald's location in Lynwood, California, might be baffled by a sign that has been turned upside down. The golden arches, typically standing as a proud "M," have been flipped over to serve as a "W."

But this isn't a bizarre prank or a careless mistake.

The upside-down arches are in "celebration of women everywhere," a McDonald's spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.

Franchisee Patricia Williams flipped the sign at her restaurant in Lynwood, California, in honor of International Women's Day.

On Thursday, McDonald's will turn its logo upside down on all digital channels, such as Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, 100 restaurants will have special "packaging, crew shirts and hats and bag stuffers" to celebrate International Women's Day.

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"In celebration of women everywhere, and for the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women's Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants," McDonald's Chief Diversity Officer Wendy Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis continued: "From restaurant crew and management to our C-suite of senior leadership, women play invaluable roles at all levels and together with our independent franchise owners we're committed to their success."

International Women's Day is on Thursday, March 8. A number of brands, including Old Navy and Barbie, have debuted special products to honor the day. However, some companies — including BrewDog, which rolled out a satirical "beer for girls" called Pink IPA — have been criticized for using International Women's Day to advertise to women in what some consider a reductive manner.

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