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American Flags Taken Off Fire Trucks in Upstate New York

American Flags Taken Off Fire Trucks in Upstate New York

(Photo by Nina Schutzman via Poughkeepsie Journal)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 August 2016 01:32 PM

A New York fire department had to remove American flags from pumper and ladder trucks, following a decision by the Board of Fire Commissioners that the flags could leave the department open to civil liability.

Arlington Fire District Fire Chief Tory Gallante told the Poughkeepsie Journal that he was "very disappointed with (the board's) direction" to take down the flags. According to Fire Commissioner and Board Chairman Jim Beretta, most commissioners thought the flags were a "liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists," and wished they had been consulted before the firefighters' union had the flags installed.

Of the board members, two "had no problem with it as long as it was safe and not in the way of operations," Beretta continued. Three "did have a problem with it for normal operations, citing liability and distraction to other motorists."

"If we had to take them down, they had to be taken down the right way," Joseph Tarquinio, the president of the firefighters' union, told the Journal. "At the time when the country needs unity, to do something like this ... it's next to flag-burning in my mind."

"I think (for) a lot of people ... (the issue) crosses political lines, moral lines, religious lines," Tarquinio added. "It's the flag of this country."

According to Gallante, the union can continue to display the flag on the rear of the trucks, "at their cost" and if they were "checked by our mechanics" to ensure they were attached safely.

According to Fox News, the city of Seminole, Florida also ordered firefighters to remove the American flags from their fire trucks, citing complaints that the Stars and Stripes was being "inappropriately displayed."

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A New York fire department had to remove American flags from pumper and ladder trucks, following a decision by the Board of Fire Commissioners that the flags could leave the department open to civil liability.
us, american, flag, firefighter, trucks, new york
296
2016-32-17
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 01:32 PM
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