Thursday, August 18, 2016

the town (not the city) of Poughkeepsie New York, fire dept was directed by their city board of fire commissioners to remove the flags from the backs of the trucks during Monday's meeting.

American flags were removed from three fire trucks in New York on Tuesday sparking heated discussion on social media and disappointment from union members.

Arlington Fire Chief Gallante said the firefighters union recently asked him if they could display American flags on the rear of fire trucks.

He granted the union permission to do so, as long as the flags were maintained properly and safely secured.

Of course, then Gallante was directed by the Board of Fire Commissioners to remove the flags from the backs of the trucks during Monday's meeting.

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

He declined to comment on specifics of why the decision was made but said he is “very disappointed with their direction.”

Arlington Fire Commissioner Chairman Jim Beretta said 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.

If you want to show the firefighters some love, they are the Arlington District of Poughkeepsie New York:

11 Burnett Blvd. Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
 (845) 486-6300
Open 24 Hours

And you can sign the petition to get tell the commissioner he made the wrong decision: 


  1. I heard this being spoken about on the radio yesterday and thought they were talking about flag decals, so I was pretty upset. Why would they not be allowed to have images of our flag on a fire truck? Seems very unAmerican.
    Then I saw your image here. Oh, its a REAL flag. That's a bit different then. I honestly don't like when real flags are flown from moving vehicles, except in parades of course. Why do they need a flag flapping along behind the truck? If they want a flag on the truck, then get a decal or have it painted on the side.

    To me it actually seems disrespectful to our flag to display it this way. Like some kind of cheap sports team banner getting ripped to shreds in the violent turbulence of the rushing wind. I know they do it on ships, but that's different I think.

    1. your question was framed "Why do they need" to which the answer is of course, "why don't they need". Why must the religious people have "in god we trust" on the currency of the USA, and why did they force "under god" into the pledge of allegiance? Because, their opinion is very important to them. They have a philosophy, and a way of life, and it's their truck work vehicle every day. Consider that the olympic athletes must wear the sports logo of Nike. They have to sign an agreement that they will only be seen in the team logo sportswear. They are forbidden to wear the logo of their own company or sponsors. They have NO freedom. So - it's a complicated issue. Public property (the fire engines) have to follow the commands of the city representatives, who are supposed to represent the public in their jurisdiction. If that were a bunch of mormons, or buddists, or cat loving crazy ol ladies, they would have to go with whatever the majority decided. Then, there is the complaint that was cited as the reason to remove the flags. "Distracting"... well... what moron thought that the lights and siren on the largest vehicle on the city street wasn't distracting? And the 3 by 5 flag suddenly made them lose their mind? Seriously? A retard. Anyway, why did they want a flag on their fire truck? Maybe for the representation of all that ol stars and stripes stands for. This once great land, the generations of men that fought and died with honor for the flag that represents this country. Maybe, it's more of an inspirational display instead. Perhaps the firefighters want the young kids in their town to get a Normal Rockwell and Eagle Scout notion about their town. Regardless... the carrying of a flag to fight in combat is about 240 years old in this country, and firefighters are sure heros to me. They save lives, and if they want a flag, hell, I'll buy them a flag. The question you didn't ask, is why must they take down the nations flag from the public property? That taxpayer owned truck belongs to the people of the country that taxpayers are financing to hoist a flag over the capitol building, and tomb of the unknown soldier. Seems fitting to me to deserve a flag, to be kept clean, serviceable, and running when needed. That is what that flag is too. I don't believe that a lack of respect is there, or intended, or found by chance when a flag is on a public owned piece of property. There is one at every cemetery and city hall. One is a graveyard of corpses, and the other a building full of crooks and corrupt politicians. Seems to me a firetruck only has hard working heros onboard. So, what disrespect are you referring to? Being proudly displayed? Being hoisted in the wind to the scene of rescue work? Then the military is guilty of that crime. Don't tell me that annoys you. I won't put up with that. Cheap sports team banners? Whatever. They aren't on fire dept trucks, nor made with quality materials designed to last years in the sun and wind. Flags were on WW2 jeeps, blimps, ships, subs, and tanks. They fared well. So will a flag on the firetruck, right up to the moment some milquetoast pantywaist bunch of "everyone gets a trophy" whiners that never served as firefighters or military of this country decide otherwise.

  2. There is a lot of correct flag etiquette that most people (not accusing you) know nothing about. These are pretty specific and detailed and cover items that are not always obvious. Like what side of a podium is the American flag supposed to be displayed.

    Here is an excerpt from the above American Legion website:
    § 7. Position and manner of display
    The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

    (a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.

    (b) 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.

    and another section:
    § 8. Respect for flag
    (e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
    (like maybe the back of a truck?)

    and this little know code, since the Olympics are going on:
    (j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing

    I'm not the one telling anyone to remove the flag on their truck, or to not wear a shirt made to look like our flag. I just thing it's disrespectful to the flag, not to the firefighters or the vets or athletes or whoever. Apparently those who wrote the flag codes thought so as well.

    And yes, I learned most of these codes years ago on my way to becoming an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and from growing up on military bases and attending military schools. I have the highest respect for my country and those who fight to protect it. I proudly fly my flag during the day and take it down at night (another code that know one follows).
    So I stand by my comments, but I will clarify them a little more. I think it's disrespectful to have the American flag hanging off the back of a firetruck or any truck, except in special circumstances (such as a parade or other special ceremony or occasion).

    1. that's all fine for the American Legion, and how they want to treat the flag. But, you do realize, all laws about treating the flag are unconstitutional? So said the US Supreme court. It was all fine when Norman Rockwell and Baden Powell were our moral compass... but then religious people started screwing with things, and inserting "under god" into our pledge of allegiance. After that, people starting getting precious about stuff, and seeing where the lines were, and how far they could push certain things. Good for you to make Eagle Scout! My troop was disbanded just after I made tenderfoot. The scout leader decided to quit, and no adults wanted to step up... it was a very very small area, and we had only about 20 kids in my troop. I learned a lot back then too.. aand the way to treat a flag was quite clear. Then I did 10 years in the Navy, and part of that was as a Quartermaster, on subs, we get the flag duty, and yeah, I read the military orders on the treatment. None of that gets in my way though, when I am happy to see a flag on, in, or over a firetruck. Maybe that is all a result of 9-11. Ain't no one going to tell me that the flag was disrespected in the pit when attached to a piece of flagpole wreckage in Tom Franklin's famous photo, 9-11-01 5:01 pm. It was very soiled that day. I also toss out all the nonsense about a flag as clothing. I wouldn't advise a real flag be used instead of clothing fabric, but hey, anything with a red white and blue flag look as a piece of clothing is ok by me. Bikinis especially. Keep in mind the blood chit in WW2 bomber jackets. Had a flag right on it. That flag code was written when a vehicle was a slow moving object... and as for boats? I go back to refer to my mentioning, now and then, that I'm a submariner. We call our subs boats. The flag goes on the back, and the ensign, or jack, goes on the front. I doubt it's what they referred to, but subs and warships of all kids have always had a flag on the back, in the soot from the engines. It's just one of those things. Anyway, I stand by the firefighters wanting a flag on the back. It's not getting torn, or damaged. It's getting shown, displayed, and proudly so. That works for me. But, if you want to take flag bikinis off women, let me know, I wanna see that happen. Oh, after all that military school stuff, didn't you join the military? Why not? But anyway, a lot of Victorian age stuffy ol rules about etiquette were fine for that era, but, it's not carved in stone for all ages, all time. Like those bikinis I keep referencing. Those were completely out of the question when the etiquette bitches were shrieking about being "proper" as they drove horses with whips, didn't care about the horse shit they dropped in the streets on the way to the drug store where they bought heroin or cocaine cough syrup, etc. Times change, now people pick up their dog's crap. When I was a kid, in the 70s, you'd grab a shovel once a week and clean up the yard, but no way you were following a dogs but with a bag. I dig your minion avatar... right on

    2. oh yeah, and flags were draped off buildings over shattered windows on the building across the street from the fallen twin towers in the weeks after 9-11-01

  3. Thank you for your service Jesse.

    You make a lot a valid points, but personally, I would rather see something more permanent displayed on a fire truck like a nice painted flag graphic down the side, so I am not bothered by them removing these flags from the back. We are all entitled to our thoughts on this, guess I've always been a stickler for following the rules. Too much of a "Boy Scout". LOL
    Also, I see nothing wrong with flying the flag over ground zero or over windows as you mention. That's a totally different situation than driving around town with the flag hanging off the back of your vehicle.

    About the Blood Chit. It wasn't actually the flag being worn as clothing. It was a piece of cloth with wording that identified where the pilot was from and promised a reward for safe return. They did include a flag form the wearers country printed on the cloth and some did sew it into their jackets, but it's stretch to say that it was a flag being worn as clothing. so that does not really "violate" that code. As for other clothing, maybe the intent was literally to not to take a flag and make clothes out of it. So making a shirt (or a bikini) out of cloth that looks like the flag is ok. Who's to say?

    Anyway, I like bikinis too, all colors, including red white & blue. I also enjoy your blog and I usually check it out multiple times throughout the day. Keep up the good work.