It seems that the NY Fire Department Commissioner has gone overboard in responding to some sexually oriented material found at a fire station (sexually explicit material found at a fire house? with a bunch of burly guys? I’m sure that has NEVER happened before!). While I agree that such material is inappropriate for the workplace, banning American flags, mass cards and other personal items from one’s locker seems to be a violation of the firefighters rights.

New York Firefighters Outraged by Ban on American Flags, Pictures of Fallen Colleagues on Lockers
Thursday, January 11, 2007

In a stunning crackdown, the FDNY has demanded that all personal decorations, including flags and pictures of colleagues killed on Sept. 11, 2001, be removed from lockers, WCBSTV reported.

The controversy began two weeks ago when a sexually explicit slogan was reported at Engine 230 in Brooklyn. In response, FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta banned all decorations, including American flags, “Support Our Troops” stickers, pictures of family and Mass cards.

My brother was a firefighter – he won heroism awards for pulling people out of fires. These guys run INTO burning buildings. Put on top of that the fact that many of these guys lost friends, sons, fathers, and brothers, on 9/11, it makes the Commissioner’s actions dispicable.

The story from Fox News is here.

The story from wcbstv.com is here.

I checked out the FDNY web page, which did not list anything about the controversy, but it is an interesting site to visit, and it might even save your life. There are tips on how to use a fire extinguisher, how to fire proof your house, and so forth: FDNY

***UPDATE***

I just found the following on CNN:

NEW YORK (AP) — An effort by the city’s fire department to remove pictures, posters and other items from the outside of firehouse lockers has stirred outrage among firefighters, who vowed to fight back with flags.

Union officials announced Wednesday that they planned to hand out 10,000 decals of American flags to firefighters so they could stick them on lockers in defiance of the crackdown.

But the fire department later issued a statement that sought to alleviate firefighters’ concerns.

“Over the past 18 months, the New York City Fire Department has made a concerted effort to eliminate offensive material from firehouses. However, American flags and mass cards of firefighters killed on September 11, 2001, are certainly permitted.”

Let’s hope we hear no more of this nonsense!