Firefighters Pull ‘Thin Red Line’ Flag After Political Symbol Claim by Dems

( – Following a complaint to a New York City councilwoman affiliated with the Democratic Party, firefighters with the Fire Department of New York had to remove a flag expressing support for the firefighter profession. The councilwoman’s office sent a message to the fire department, saying it should remove the flag because it possessed a political message, a claim first brought against the department by an unnamed citizen. The flag in question featured a symbol similar to the controversial “thin blue line” flag, but the firefighters claimed the flag featured a different message.

According to the firefighters who used the flag, the department wanted the symbol to pay tribute to firefighters who died in the line of duty. The department considered multiple methods of honoring firefighters who’ve died on duty, including using a new symbol or a different flag. The fire department decided to use a flag reminiscent of the thin blue line symbol, which caught an unnamed voter’s attention when he passed the location.

The unnamed voter reportedly passed by the East Village Fire Department company when he spotted the Thin Red Line flag, prompting him to contact Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s office and ask about it. The constituent asked if the flag constituted a rule violation for the department due to its association with a pro-police movement. Rivera’s employees claim they told the voter about the flag’s meaning, but he insisted it featured a political message and should be removed. The fire department capitulated after the constituent voiced his concerns and removed the thin red line flag.

While the thin red line symbolizes support for American firefighters, the East Village incident isn’t the first time New York officials have limited citizens’ ability to display the flag. The first instance of the Thin Red Line flag causing strife occurred in 2020, during the height of the Thin Blue Line movement’s popularity. Former New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro instituted a ban on the flag, claiming that trucks couldn’t feature the flag as it represented an edited version of the United States flag.

Like Nigro, the current Deputy Chief of the New York Fire Department, Joseph Schiralli, ordered the East Village firefighters to remove the flag due to the controversy surrounding the incident. Schiralli reportedly claimed he didn’t support the policy but ordered his fellow firefighters to take the symbol down. The entire ordeal prompted backlash from conservative commentators, who feel it’s “ridiculous” that firefighters can’t celebrate their fellow first responders who’ve lost their lives while attempting to save others. Rivera quickly responded to the incident by stating she did not order the department to remove the flag and that the call came from a concerned voter rather than a member of her staff.

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