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FDNY Firefighters Ordered to Take Down ‘Thin Red Line’ Flag Following Democrat’s Office Deeming It a Political Symbol

FDNY (Credits: Blaze Media)

Senior officials at the FDNY directed an East Village ladder company to remove a “Thin Red Line” flag following a complaint from a Democratic councilwoman’s office citing concerns from a constituent regarding its perceived political nature.

On March 19, a staff member from Democratic Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s office contacted Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Madison Hernandez, conveying a constituent’s apprehension regarding Ladder Co. 11’s display of the flag. The constituent questioned whether the flag violated department regulations.

The constituent was informed that the flag was flown to honor deceased firefighters but expressed the view that an FDNY flag should have been used instead of a symbol with political connotations. Rivera’s staffer, Lysander Rosario, raised concerns about the display of private political symbols on public vehicles.

Senior officials at the FDNY (Credits: Firehouse Magazine)

The “Thin Red Line” flag symbolizes solidarity with firefighters, akin to the “Thin Blue Line” flag representing support for police officers. However, the display of thin red line flags on trucks was prohibited by then-Commissioner Daniel Nigro in 2020 due to its classification as an “altered” version of the U.S. flag.

Following the interaction with the constituent, FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Schiralli instructed the firefighters to remove the thin red line flag from the firehouse on East 2nd Street despite acknowledging the directive’s perceived absurdity.

The decision sparked backlash on social media, with conservative activist Rogan O’Handley highlighting the removal of the flag, emphasizing its significance in memorializing fallen firefighters from 9/11.

Councilwoman Rivera (Credits: New York Daily News)

Councilwoman Rivera clarified that her office did not directly contact Ladder Co. 11 regarding the issue, indicating that the complaint originated from a constituent rather than her staff.

In response to the incident, a spokesman for FDNY stated that the department received a complaint from a local elected official’s office expressing concerns about the appropriateness of the flag on the fire truck. Upon review by top leadership, including the Fire Commissioner, the decision was made to approve the flag’s display on the apparatus.

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