NY Firefighters Ordered To Remove 9/11 Flag

(IntegrityTimes.com) – On Friday March 22, Fire Department of New York (FDNY) officials ordered Ladder Company 11, in the East Village, to remove a thin red line flag from the back of their fire truck. The thin red line flag is a variant on the American flag with black, white and red meant to indicate solidarity with firefighters, and often used, as in this case, as a part of a memorial to fallen colleagues. The truck in question also featured a placard with the names of six of the ladder company’s firefighters lost during the 9/11 tragedy that claimed so many lives of civilians and first responders.

Fire stations sometimes divide their crew into groups called companies that have differing responsibilities. A ladder company would be the group who usually handles things like forcible entry into the structure, ladder placement, and search and rescue, while the engine company are usually the ones extinguishing the fire. Ladder Company 11’s public display of a memorial for members who died in the line of duty is not unusual for people with such dangerous jobs.

The incident seemed to begin when a person claiming to be a staffer for Democratic Manhattan Councilwoman Carlina Rivera confronting the firefighters at their station about the memorial display, calling the flag “fascist”. This was followed up with a somewhat hostile email from Rivera staffer Lisander Rosario to the FDNY Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Madison Hernandez calling the flag a “politically charged symbol”, questioning the legality of it being displayed and demanding to know if such a flag was still in use by Ladder Company 11.

However, Rivera claims that her office never contacted the firefighters about the flag before the email and that complaints had come from constituents, not from staff. It is unknown if the man from the original incident was actually affiliated with Rivera’s office or misrepresenting himself. The rule barring the use of such flags only stems from 2022 when then-Commissioner Daniel Nigro implemented it. In response to pushback over this incident, now-Commissioner Laura Kavanagh has now reversed it, effectively resolving the issue. Members of the company, while pleased with the reversal, remain offended that the incident escalated as far as it did.

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