Arlington Fire Department Commissioners Remove Flags from Fire Trucks; Backlash Petition Receives 1700 United States Signatures in 24 Hours

 

August 2016: Arlington Fire Department in Poughkeepsie, NY

A decision was made by Fire Commissioner Jim Beretta, along with Joseph Armstrong and Jose Seco in favor of removing flags from fire trucks, claiming the flags are a “liability” and a “distraction to motorists”. Beretta alleged that no one asked for permission to place the flags on the truck, and that the board wasn’t consulted prior to doing so.

At the request of the Union, the flags were mounted recently. The demand was made by the abovementioned three members of the board to remove them, while citing no explicit laws which prohibit the flying of flags on fire department vehicles, whether the vehicles be in motion or stationary/parked.

Petition Receives 1700 Signatures in a Day

I started a petition on Change.org which requests that the American flags be affixed back on the trucks, in support of the hard work and dedication of firefighters. The petition received approximately 1700 signatures in the first 24 hours spanning New York (multiple counties,) New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Rhode Island, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Tennessee, and many other states, even as far north as Canada.

Following the petition and social media backlash, the news has hit media stations, including an article by Fox News and CBS News. The Washington Post also covered further details, seen here.

A news clip is seen here on Fox News regarding the order to remove flags from Arlington Poughkeepsie fire trucks:

 

Petition Submitted to Commissioners at Arlington Fire Department

The petition was emailed to the Commissioners at the Arlington Fire Department at approximately 11:45 PM Wednesday evening, just 24 hours after it was created on Change.org. The email detailed the protest coming from citizens across the country regarding the Commissioners decision. Included in the email was a sincere plea to place the flags back on the trucks in a safe and secure manner, to allow for the flags to be flown freely on Arlington Fire Department fire trucks.

There is information which suggests that the Commissioner will hold a meeting in order to devise a plan to “compromise”, however the general consensus suggests that residents of Dutchess County and US citizens want the flags returned to the truck, able to be flown freely, with no need for altering the original manner in which they were displayed.

 

Firefighters, Families & Supporters of the Petition

Firefighters in New York, as well as several other states object to the removal of the flags. Members of the United States military state their objection to the demand to remove the flags from the Arlington fire trucks. A former Poughkeepsie firefighter who has joined NYPD has also expressed his objection.

 

To read the full list of comments,  visit the petition here. 

 

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