Reoccurring flag discussion within Central Coventry Fire Department
By Ana Bottary
Central Coventry fire fighters frustrated over a reoccurring request to take down American Flags from their trucks.
"It shouldn’t even be a conversation. The flags flying. If you’re American that’s all that matters," Says Coventry Fire Union President, David Gorman.
Gorman says he thought the discussion about removing the flags was over, after a fire board meeting last week. The board adopted this policy saying in part the fire trucks are owned by the district so no stickers or decals of any kind can be put on the trucks without the Fire Chiefs permission. There was no mention of the flags or decals that are currently on the vehicles. But, Gorman says earlier this week when in a conversation with the district manager, taking down the flags was brought up.
"Monday or Tuesday it was, hey what are we going to do with these stickers and flags? I said, I thought we put this issue to bed….I know her marching orders are from the chair and the vice chair," says Gorman.
The flag discussion is nothing new in Coventry. At a fire board meeting last year, Fred Gralinski, chairman of the Central Coventry Fire District, made comments about removing them.
"He likened us to ISIS terrorists, he didn’t like the way we were driving down the streets with flag flying on the back of the truck," adds Captain Gorman.
Gralinski responded in a statement Thursday saying in part, "In August 2015, during a heated moment, I made remarks regarding members of our staff that were clearly a poor choice of words. If my choice of words led anyone to believe that i have anything other than the utmost respect for the flag of the United States of America and what what it stands for, I apologize." He went on to say orders of removing the American Flags are not true.