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Two resign over Confederate flag on fire truck — Protest at Long Island firehouse

Chief says flag was "a relic" from a 1980s racing team

This is disgraceful and blatantly racist, and has no place in our communities Brookhaven Fire Department. (You do…

Posted by Will Ferraro on Sunday, August 30, 2020

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Long Island’s Brookhaven Fire Department is dealing with a lot of fallout after its ladder truck was photographed with a Confederate flag hanging from the side of the rig. The truck and flag were part of a “drive-by parade” honoring a firefighter from another department who is ill. News reports indicate about 50 departments were part of the parade.

Yesterday (Wednesday), two members resigned over the incident. Despite the departments efforts to get ahead of the problem, a state investigation has been ordered and there was a firehouse protest yesterday.

Carl MacGowan, Newsday:

About 100 demonstrators gathered Wednesday evening outside the firehouse on Montauk Highway, chanting slogans such as, “Hey hey, ho ho, this racist flag has got to go.”

Several fire department officials spoke briefly to a small group of protesters. After explaining that the firefighters had resigned, the officials went inside the firehouse as some protesters accused them of racism.

Di Pinto described the flag as “a relic” from a fire department race team that took part in tournaments in the 1980s. His Sept. 1 letter does not indicate whether the flag belonged to the department or the driver.

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