NY fire department ordered to remove American flags from trucks

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New York Officials are hoping to reach a compromise after a decision to remove American flags from fire trucks stirred a controversy that has gained national attention.

The city’s Board of Fire Commissioners on Monday voted, 3-2, to have Arlington Fire Chief Tory Gallante remove the flags from the backs of three fire trucks, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.

Gallante tells the Journal he has been “inundated” with phone calls offering support and expressing disappointment in the decision to remove the flags. He will will meet with fire commission chairman Jim Berretta on Thursday.

“I have received a ton of emails, phone calls, visitors, 99.9 percent of people expressing their anger and stuff with having the flags removed,” Gallante tells wamc.org. “Obviously, I was very upset with the board’s directive as was the department personnel.”

The flags had been recently mounted on the backs of the trucks at the request of the firefighters union, the Journal reports. Fire commissioners said the flags are a “liability” during normal operations by firefighters.

The commission said it had not been consulted before the flags were mounted.

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