Firefighters reinstated after American flag controversy, fallout continues

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A group of suburban firefighters who had been relieved of their duties for refusing to remove patriotic flags from their lockers and helmets were reinstated today.

Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh had issued a mandate for the removal of the images but Wednesday he said, “After review, I made a decision to put department issued flags on every locker and in every locker room.”

Even so, tonight union reps will ask for the chief’s resignation. They've also filed charges with the labor relations board against the chief for creating a hostile work environment and for accusing a lieutenant of being racist.

To Jesus Aguire, an Army Staff Sgt with the National Guard who served two tours in Iraq, it's more than just a sticker.

“It feels wrong,” he said. “I was offended that they would want me to do something like that.”

It was a small victory for the firefighters, especially sweet today, the eve of 9-11, when 343 firefighters lost their lives.

“For guys to have 9-11 memorials on their helmets, that means something,” said firefighter David Flowers Jr. “It's burned into some guys helmets. That means a lot.”


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  • Karen

    So a bunch of guys, black, white and hispanic, are getting along and agree on the value of their patriotic stickers — The ultimate sign of cohesion among a diverse group in a tough job.

    Maywood needs a new fire chief.

  • EdB

    I saw your interview and agree with Karen. You stick together, work together, have fun together and work to get a guy to quit a stinking habit. It takes one guy to destroy the nati… I mean your friendships and group. solidarity weil done. Maybe this is the kick in the rear this over PC’d Chief needed.

  • Pingback: Chicago Area Fire Department Chief Says American Flag Stickers Are Racist [Video] « Q105
  • Michael Mantych

    The chief is the racists in my opinion. To automatically declare a picture that shows a monkey smoking a cigarette as racists shows where his mind is. I remember that ad and it had absolutely nothing to do with racism.

  • Tammy

    He put a rift in his own dept. You do not do that unless you are out to get something! You have something on your agenda! Firemen Re a family and they have to be. They have to be able to rely on each other! Every time they go into a burning building, etc., they put their lives in each other’s hands! They have to be able to trust each other and know that their “brother” has their back! He held on to that picture to use it just for an ocassion like this. 10 years! And he didn’t have his facts straight to begin with. He needs to go!!!! Holding a picture for 10 years, shows this was premeditated!

  • Lou9999

    Seems like the Chief has something to hide….lack of leadership, revenge, or just being an idiot. Somebody that takes a picture and holds it for 10 years is looking to take someone down. Poor, poor leadership. Maywood needs a new fire chief….pronto.

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