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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