Opinion

Firefighters refuse chief’s order to remove Thin Blue Line flag from fire rigs

Why is it most of us can call our city governments to complain about something and nothing ever happens, but when some woke crackpot calls to complain about something they decide is political, the city contorts itself to create new policies to appease the anti-cop mob? They’ve ordered firefighters to remove Thin Blue Line flags from their apparatus— “after a citizen complaint.” Yes, singular.

According to the Patriot Ledger, in Hingham, Massachusetts, some woke malcontent has decided that a flag exclusively intended to honor police officers is actually a political message. Imagine how far our nation has fallen that honoring police officers is now political, even according to some police and fire chiefs.

Fire Chief Steve Murphy and Police Chief Glenn Olsson issued letters to employees notifying them they must remove Thin Blue Line flags from city vehicles. Firefighters initially placed the flags on their fire trucks and engines to honor Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, who was killed in the line of duty.

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The chiefs contend the flags have “taken on a different political meaning.” Not if you don’t let it, they haven’t. The flag means what it has always meant. That staunchly anti-cop people don’t like it is not surprising, and it does not change the inherent meaning of the flag. By that calculus, the American flag has become political as well, right? Lots of folks hatin’ on America just like they’re hatin’ on the cops these days. Will American flags be next?

Also not surprising, the firefighters are refusing to take the Thin Blue Line flags off their firefighting rigs. The two chiefs insist that the flag violates the town’s prohibition on displaying “political messaging.” The firefighters are standing their ground and have it right; it’s not political.

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The “Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 took to Facebook to make it clear that displaying the flag at the anniversary of Chesna’s death was to support the ‘law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day,’ and was ‘at no time’ meant to be a political statement.

Officer.com is reporting the Hingham firefighters’ union is requesting “the town reconsider their decision to deem the flags as political statements.” They added, “We regret to inform you that over the past four days no member of Local 2398 was able to sacrifice his or her moral fortitude in order to remove the flags from the apparatus.”

The firefighters are standing by their “initial statement that this has no political message for one reason, and one reason only, because honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of law enforcement is not political. Period.”

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As a retired police officer married to a retired firefighter whose father was a cop in Massachusetts for 36 years, I cannot argue with that.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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