Arlington Fire District Reaches Flag Agreement
The Arlington Fire District Board of Commissioners reached an agreement with Arlington firefighters about the placement of American flags on fire trucks.
Earlier this week, fire officials ordered the flags remove amid concerns the flags created traffic safety issues. The removal order generated a social media firestorm in the Hudson Valley and eventually became fodder for national news programs.
Arlington Fire Chief Tory G. Gallante disagreed that the flags posed any traffic concerns or potential liability.
"I don't remember reading or hearing about any accidents throughout the country caused by an American flag on the back of an emergency vehicle," Gallante told 94.3/97.3 The Wolf's CJ and Jess on the CJ in the Morning show on Thursday.
While many on social media called the move unpatriotic or anti-American, Gallante told 101.5 WPDH's Boris & Robyn Show he didn't believe the decision had political motives.
"I don't feel it was an anti-American motive. Definitely not. I think some of them just felt it was unsafe," Gallante said. "There's been a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of misquoting and everything else."
On Thursday afternoon, the board and representatives from the firefighters union, the Arlington Professional Firefighters Local 2393, reached an agreement.
"We have agreed to install a flag on an engine and continue to work together to develop a standard and protocol," a message on the Arlington Fire District's Facebook page stated. "The Arlington Fire District recognizes and values the importance and symbolism of the American flag."
The Facebook posting was attributed to Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman James L. Beretta, Gallante and Arlington Professional Firefighters Local 2393 President Joseph Tarquinio.