An upstate New York fire department is in talks of making a compromise after a motion to remove the American flags from fire trucks sparked controversy.
The head of the Arlington Board of Fire Commissioners is in talks with Fire Chief Tory Gallante to discuss a compromise about using American flags on fire trucks, The Poughkeepsie Journal reports.
American flags were removed from three fire trucks Tuesday after Chief Gallante followed the board’s orders to take the American flags down from the fire trucks Monday.
Arlington Fire Commissioner Chairman said the flags were a “liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists,” FOX 5 reported.
The decision angered many firefighter’s union members and others on social media.
“If we had to take them down, they had to be taken down the right way,” firefighters’ union President Joseph Tarquinio told The Poughkeepsie Journal. “At the time when the country needs unity, to do something like this … it’s next to flag-burning in my mind.”
The flags were installed at the union’s request, but the fire commissioners thought the flags could endanger fire truck drivers’ safety.
Earlier this year, the fire chief of Riverside, California, told firefighters to remove a pro-police American flag from all fire trucks.
In 2012, a similar case happened when when a Seminole, Florida, resident complained that fire trucks were displaying flags “against the flag code,” according to The Tampa Bay Times.
Under section 175 of the U.S. Federal Flag Code, it states that “the flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.”