Fire departments have one of the most visible jobs in our country. With flashing lights and blasting sirens they come to the rescue of people in need.

So when an upstate New York fire department was ordered to remove the American flags that were flying behind the trucks, most people wondered why. Here was an example of American duty and patriotism and those flags were being ordered off of the fire trucks.

It turns out that the fire commissioner, Jim Beretta, saw a firetruck going by with the flags waving behind it and was worried about "liability and distraction to other motorists." That argument holds no water, however, because motorists are required to stop or pull over when approached by fire trucks responding to a call. Other than that, the fire trucks remain almost invisible in our communities.

The flags had been attached to fire trucks in the Arlington area as a sign of unity and support for the entire country. Joseph Tarquinio, one of the men in charge of attaching the flags to all of Arlington's fire trucks, said that it was something the firefighters felt they could do to show support for America.

"It was our way to show support — not for one particular sect but for the nation as a whole," Tarquinio said. According to Tarquinio, New York fire trucks had flown flags before, but one winter the flags had come down and never gone back up.

It wasn't long, however, until the fire commissioners ordered the flags to be taken down because of the "liability."

Wanting to keep their jobs, the firefighters held a flag lowering ceremony for the flags on all of the Arlington Fire Department trucks and properly stowed the flags. Now, the only flags on the Arlington trucks are the large decals that adorn the sides of the trucks.

Have we really come to the point where we are ashamed to fly our own nation's flag? This is going much too far.

h/t: Washington Post



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