Board of Fire Commissioners commanded that Fire Chief Tory Gallante remove American flags from 3 Arlington Fire District trucks. Chief Gallante said he was “very disappointed with their direction” along with the Union Members.
Arlington board members said that the flags are a “liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists.” The union had just recently requested the flags to be mounted on the trucks and Union President Joseph Tarquinio expressed great disappointed in the board’s decision saying after a ceremonial removal of the flags, “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. 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.”
Board members Jim Beretta, Joseph Armstrong and Jose Seco voted to take the flags down because they “did have a problem with it for normal operations, citing liability and distraction to other motorists.” The only distraction I see is the waste of time this Board of Directors is. Flags have been around for centuries and the American flag over 2 centuries… the statistics on flags being a danger somehow is miniscule… they’re on the back of the rig for goodness sake! We currently live in a country with a First Amendment right to burn our flag and yet it’s a huge “Liability” to fly it.
Tarquinio said that dozens and dozens of messages of support have poured in on social media. Here are a few: