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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ban on Stars and Stripes on Fire Trucks

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The State of New York has been rated as the least free State in the United States by the Cato Institute.

As if on cue to confirm Cato's findings, the town of Arlington, New York's Board of Fire Commissioners voted to have all American Flags removed from the Arlington Fire District trucks and engines.  The Stars and Stripes order of removal, according to Arlington Fire Commissioner Chairman Jim Beretta, was brought about because the board majority feel the flags are a "liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists," and that the board had not been consulted before the flags were mounted.

The flags, which were only recently mounted on the trucks at the request of the union, were removed during a ceremony at Arlington headquarters in the Town of Poughkeepsie Tuesday.

Union President Joseph Tarquinio said he's disappointed in the board's direction, but "if we had to take them down, they had to be taken down the right way. At the time when the country needs unity, to do something like this ... it's next to flag-burning in my mind."
Social media has exploded with criticism, and the story has even made it to the larger mainstream media outlets.  Tarquinio is pleased with the outpouring of support — Gallante said dozens and dozens of messages have poured in from around the nation, decrying the board's direction.

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

The chairman of the Arlington Board of Fire Commissioners said he's reached out to Chief Tory Gallante to discuss the possibility of a compromise about the use of American flags on fire trucks.

The vote among the five member board of fire commissioners had been split.  Two board members "had no problem with it as long as it was safe and not in the way of operations," three board members "did have a problem with it for normal operations, citing liability and distraction to other motorists."

A "rally for the flag" has been scheduled for Saturday at noon at Arlington's Croft Corners Fire Company station on Spackenkill Road in Poughkeepsie.

The fire trucks do have flag stickers on them and "we were clear that we had no problem with them or with flags being mounted on the apparatus for parades and ceremonies," Beretta added. "These flags being mounted is a new event, not more than a month or two old if that, from what I am told by the chief."

The excuse is that the flags may interfere with operations, but I think that is the mask.  I think the three may very well have been influenced by the anti-American sentiment the liberal left has been pushing.  Remember, on the first day of the Democrat National Convention there was not an American Flag to be seen, and they were added on day 2 only because of pressure from critics.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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