FDNY forced to remove stars and stripes tribute after Dem lawmaker called it ‘fascist symbol’

A leftist lawmaker butt heads with the Big Apple’s bravest in a dispute over an alleged “fascist symbol” used to honor fallen firefighters.

“Radicalism and censorship are sadly becoming the norm in American politics.”

In the wake of defund the police efforts and Black Lives Matter riots, activist America readily took aim at law enforcement agencies that dared to fly the Thin Blue Line flag. Now, in New York City’s Alphabet City neighborhood, a firehouse received the same treatment, reportedly at the behest of a Democratic council member.

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that Manhattan Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s office had communicated a complaint to Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Madison Hernandez about a Thin Red Line flag seen flying on the truck for Ladder Co. 11.

Noting it had first been spotted on Jan. 20 before being seen again the week prior to the March 19 email, pronoun-including staffer Lisander Rosario expressed, “When asked about the meaning, [FDNY staff] claimed it was to honor deceased firefighters, however, [the constituent] brought up that they could’ve used an FDNY flag rather than a politically charged symbol.”

The Post indicated that the unidentified constituent said to potentially be a staffer from Rivera’s office, referred to the flag as a “fascist symbol,” and the email continued, “It is to both his and our understanding that private political symbols aren’t permitted to be displayed on public vehicles. Can you confirm if there are any violating flags/symbols on Ladder 11?”

In what would prove to be a short-lived victory for the radical left, an order was passed down on March 22 by FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Schiralli who was said to have personally appeared at the firehouse to explain the violation.

As it happened, the flag prohibition was part of a department-wide order on “altered” versions of the American flag that originated under then-Commissioner Daniel Nigro and then-First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh in 2020 at the height of BLM chaos after the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Now Commissioner, Kavanagh and Chief of Department John Hodgens reversed the decision and permitted the flag hours later.

“We’re happy with the outcome of this — but we’re offended it happened in the first place,” one Ladder 11 firefighter told the newspaper. “This flag has huge significance for us.”

Seen at the rear of the truck where the flag is displayed, a placard memorialized the men from the ladder company who died on Sept. 11, 2001 that included Lt. Michael Quilty and Firefighters Michael Cammarata, Edward Day, John Hefferman, Richard Kelly Jr. and Matthew Rogan.

“I wish [Rivera’s office] would have come at it like ‘Hey, we want to learn about the flag and what it represents’ before they asked for it to be taken down,'” said another firefighter.

As backlash over the initial effort poured in, the councilwoman insisted to the Post that the complaint had originated with a constituent and that her office had not contacted the firehouse about the flag, “We have heard nothing from the FDNY and have taken no additional action on this matter.”

“My relationship with Ladder 11 has always been strong,” added the former member of the Democratic Socialists of America and defund the police supporter who the outlet reported to have allocated $450,000 in Council discretionary funds toward Ladder 11 firehouse improvements.

Countering the effort to remove the flags, Queens Councilwoman and chair of the Emergency Management Committee Joann Ariola began an effort to fund supplying each firehouse and each police precinct with their own memorial flag.

Linking her social media account to an Amazon wishlist, the post read, “Councilwoman Ariola wants EVERY [FDNY] firehouse in NYC to have a thin red line flag and EVERY [NYPD] precinct in NYC to have a thin blue line flag. Please help us make that happen.”

She went on to refer to the attempted removal as a “sanctioned attack on the First Amendment rights of our civil servants” and told the newspaper as others weighed in, “Radicalism and censorship are sadly becoming the norm in American politics.”

Kevin Haggerty


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