A group of Riverside County, CA firefighters who flew the "thin blue line" flag on the back of their fire truck in a gesture of solidarity with their law enforcement counterparts were told to take the flag down because it might "cause a negative response within the community."
Fire Chief John Hawkins emailed the department, stating, "Our foremost concern was whether the flag could create a safety risk for emergency responders due to extremists targeting the fire engine..."
He continued, "How is this perceived by not only the public, but also those that would seek to do harm to those in public safety? Some feel the flag is an attempt to incite further violence against those who, to our very core, have dedicated our lives to protecting all lives.”
The firefighters, needless to say, were disheartened by the order to remove the flag; however, it won't deter their support for their brothers and sisters in blue, they say.