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  1. #1
    OfficerResource.com's Avatar
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    Firefighter suspended for refusing to peel American flag sticker from locker

    Firefight Over the Red, White and Blue
    Firefighter suspended for refusing to peel American flag sticker from locker

    [IMG]http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/410*307/Firefighter+Flag+Sticker+-+Decal.jpg[/IMG]

    Chester, Pa., firefighter James Krapf wants to know what's wrong with Old Glory. The 11-year veteran was suspended without pay Thursday after he refused to peel a sticker of the American flag from his locker.

    "It's pride…it's a matter of pride," Krapf said.

    A new department rule mandates that all stickers and statements – union, cartoon and political – be stripped from lockers after several offensive and racist images showed up in the firehouse. But Krapf figured the red, white and blue was safe.

    It seems he was wrong.
    "The chief came out and said 'You have to remove your stickers,' I said 'No disrespect chief, but I'm not taking the flag off,'" Krapf recounted. He says the officer then asked him to leave.

    Fire Commissioner James Johnson, who served in the Marine Corps, vows the symbolism of the decal is not the issue.

    "We wear the American flag on our uniform…it's flying outside that station," he said. "It is not about the American flag or patriotism."

    But Krapf refuses to give up and he's not alone. The firefighters union plans to negotiate with the department on the issue.

    "We applaud Jim Krapf because these colors don't run," said union prez Stacy Landrum.

    Krapf, who was turned away from the station again Friday, plans to stand his ground. "It's the American flag, we should be able to fly it wherever we want…I don’t believe it's offensive to anyone," he said.

    The issue and Krapf's fate is scheduled to be discussed at a meeting on Monday.


    Firefight Over the Red, White and Blue | NBC Philadelphia

  2. #2
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence

    That is what happens when instead of saying this and that cannot be shown because it is racist or offensive, have to protect everyone (don't want to get sued). So you just come out with, NOTHING can be shown at anytime or any place.

    I am not surprised at all..............
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  4. #4
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    Im glad to see he is standing up and refusing to take it down. If they force him to remove it from his locker then they must remove it from the uniform and from the flag pole. Cant have a double standard!
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  5. #5
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    I guess I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here. No one is saying they have an issue with the flag. While I do agree that the policy is ridiculous, I don't really think the guy has a leg to stand on. The locker is department property, and I think they have a right (however stupid) to say "No stickers of any kind." The only reason this guy is getting support is because it is an American flag. If it were some sort of other personal yet non-offensive sticker, I think most would be singing a different tune. Being a member of a paramilitary or uniformed organization means we're going to have to have some ridiculous rules that we'll have to follow. There's still a chain of command in place. No one is saying that American flags can't be honored and included elsewhere. It's on the uniform, it's on the poles out front. Put it this way...my uniform does NOT include a flag shoulder patch or pin of any sort. What if I decided to sew one on? The uniform is department property, and I have to follow regulations on what to affix to it and how. I think I would be looking for another job if I refused to remove it, no matter how much I value the flag itself. Yes, the flag should be flown proudly, but that doesn't mean I should be able to handpaint it on the ladder truck or plaster stickers all over the inside of the shitter stall.

    Again, is the blanket-rule ridiculous? Absolutely. Is this the right way to fight over a pretty minor issue? Matter of opinion. Now the citizens are short one firefighter, one firefighter who can't help them in time of need, because of a sticker issue? Flag or not, that is ridiculous. I think this is the wrong execution of the right idea, and sort of a silly position to put the union in. Obviously they will fight for him. If I were him though, I would want the union's time to be spent on larger, more important issues like wage, etc. I wouldn't want to use their limited resources defending me against a suspension that is easily avoided. Take the sticker down, but have the union attack the policy from a negotiations standpoint.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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  6. #6
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    If the Chief had wanted to perhaps he could've negotiated this problem to begin with. The American flag sticker could have come off but actual flags would have flown from every locker and any other possible location in the joint. There would have been so many flying flags, t shirts, car stickers, bumper stickers, and ball caps the admn would be asking for the stickers again.

  7. #7
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    If the Chief had wanted to perhaps he could've negotiated this problem to begin with. The American flag sticker could have come off but actual flags would have flown from every locker and any other possible location in the joint. There would have been so many flying flags, t shirts, car stickers, bumper stickers, and ball caps the admn would be asking for the stickers again.
    See now this I have no problem with. Tell the admin to shove it, without taking valuable personnel out of service. I love it.

  8. #8
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    A new department rule mandates that all stickers and statements – union, cartoon and political – be stripped from lockers after several offensive and racist images showed up in the firehouse. But Krapf figured the red, white and blue was safe.


    If this is how the rule reads then no it shouldn't come down. The flag doesnt fit into one of those categories. Now if the rule said no stickers what so ever, then yes it would have to come off. This is what I based my reply on. If the sticker falls into one of those categories then so does the flag on the uniform and on the pole.
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper


    Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!

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    General Norman Schwartzkopf

    Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
    (author unknown)


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  9. #9
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    Another case of an official whose head has gotten too big.

    He should modify his dumb rule, I think (unless, as BigDawg pointed out, the article is correct about the wording, in which case he shouldn't be modifying his rule, someone should explain to him what it says).

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