Firefighters Suspended for Not Removing American Flags Get Patriotic Justice

american flagFour firefighters in suburban Chicago were fired from their jobs because they wouldn't remove patriotic flag stickers from their helmets and lockers. The issue between the firefighters and Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh reportedly began when the chief wanted an American flag removed from the station that was recently purchased and put up by the firefighters to replace a torn one.

The chief offered no explanation as to why he wanted it removed and so that prompted the firefighters to put up flag stickers on their lockers. The chief then ordered those removed as well. 


It's difficult to understand why this is an issue for a fire chief. American flags are often found on fire trucks, helmets, and uniforms of firefighters. The chief said this was a decision to remove all stickers from lockers, not just the American flag stickers. And when four firefighters refused, they were told to leave the job. This still seems wrong.

David Flowers Jr. was one of those fired. He is also the union president. His father served in Vietnam and was also a firefighter at this same station -- Flowers Jr. even has his father's old locker, which is adorned with a Marine decal. "If someone has a problem with a Marine Corps decal, you take this to heart. Flag is attached to our uniform," he said. "For guys to have 9/11 memorials on their helmets, that means something," he added.

I agree. I'm worried there is something more going on here that isn't being told. Maybe there is some other issues going on between the firefighters and chief that is causing this strife between them.

Another firefighter, Jesus Aguire, served in Iraq on two tours so far. He is an Army Staff Sgt. with the National Guard. "It feels wrong," he said. "I was offended that they would want me to do something like that."

Last night, on the eve of 9/11, all four firefighters were reinstated. I'm happy to hear about this. I'm wondering if the flags are allowed to stay. They have called for the chief's resignation and filed charges against him for creating a hostile work environment. 

What do you think? Should firefighters be fired for displaying American flag stickers on their lockers?


Image via Crystal Hess/Flickr

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