American flag controversy at firehouse

CHESTER, Pa. - October 16, 2009 An American flag sticker is generating a lot of heat within the Chester City Fire Department.

The commissioner is strictly enforcing directive 35, ordering all firefighters to remove all decorations from the outside of their lockers, including the red, white, and blue.

He imposed this after a summer dust up over racially offensive postings on one locker; apparently all the firefighters have complied except 11-year veteran James Krapf, who got suspended yesterday for refusing to scrape his flag off his locker in the stationhouse.

"This is America so we fly flags outside the building, have flags on our fire trucks, this is what guys overseas are fighting for, the land of the free," Krapf said.

This flag issue has lit up the internet. Firefighters can post personal items inside the lockers, but he is insisting the outside remain free of alteration.

"I served in the Marine Corps, my son is a Persian Gulf veteran, he is a career member of the United States Army whom I am extremely proud, I fly a flag on my home, there's nothing unpatriotic about me," Commissioner James Johnson said.

Krapf told Action News he will report to work tonight and again refuse to remove the flag decal. The commissioner says he will again be suspended.

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