I was readiung Statter911 abut Emont FD of NY. There were issues with a confederate flag in the firehouse and on the emblem. As an African American I do find this offensive. Someone commented that Chapel Oaks an African American Fire company has a black panther as a "mascot" Now to me one is offensive and one is not. Looking at Chapel Oaks Website (they are my companies sister company) using the animal as opposed to a Huey Newton Black Panther is totally different. Just like companies use, owls, bulldogs, alligators, chickens...okay you get the point. I would be the first, maybe the second to say the Huey Newton Black power first would be a wrong emblem, cool but wrong. They want to be called the rebels but to me there are hundreds of images that denote rebelishness without denoting slavery.


We had debated in adding a green strip to out black over red engines. for you whipper snappers red, black & green was used to show black unity on flags in the 60's and 70's. The problem was that while we are considered a "black" fire company (even though we've always been intergrated) we wanted to be known as a fire company, period.


My question to the gallery is, what do you consider offensive.

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look back in history about the irish, they werenot allowed to be laid to rest with any one but the irish? they worked jobs no body wanted . they were looked apon ,like they were shit ! people are people!thats it
Its not opinon its fact read the Confederate States Constitution....it talks in great detail about State Soviernty. Was Slavery 1 issue causeing the Civil War absolutely but it was one of several reasons (free speech, expansion into Cuba, and States Rights as written by Civil war Historian James M. McPherson)

It in no way means that it is compareable, but it did happen. Some might argue that what African Americans endured pales in comparrison with what Jewish people did. Its not and should not be a competition, every race has at one time fallen on hard or bad times remembering history as to not repeat it is one thing, but to continually bring it up over and over again makes one question what your motivation really is. Everyone is free in America, there are even laws to ensure that freedom in all aspects of life, so why should a Flag, or symbol bother you to me thats the evuivelant of someone calling you a name and you running to tell your mommy. When my son does that I tell him to stop being a tattle tail. So maybe certain people need to stop being tattle tails.

Do not know what to tell you I joined and Im not Irish....Im not balck either but I can not join the IABFF....yet they can join the IAFF. But if I started the White Firefighters Union Im sure someone would have a HUGE problem with that!

Yea I used the quote cause I think its good and sums up alot of what I think, sorry you didnt like it, I can quote the Godfather next time if you like, or another Scorcesse film if thats what you prefer.
BTW that Symbol representing what people refer to as the "Confederate Flag" Was typically a Battle Flag it was never as portrayed the official flag of the confederacy.

Here is the National flag with all the 13 secceded states which was in use from 1861-1863 it originally had less stars and added a star once a state secceded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CSA_FLAG_28.11.1861-1.5.1863.svg

Here is the second flag http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Second_national_flag_of_the_Confe... as you can see the supposed Confederate Flag is in the corner of a mostly white flag similar to our current US flag with a star for each state

Here is the 3rd flag http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Confederate_National_Flag_since_M...

So again at no point was this symbol ever itself and as it is represented the official flag of the CSA

The Battle Flag was one of many flags used by troops the "Bonnie Blue Flag" was another battle flag http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnieblue.svg

In fact the battle flag or "Stars and Bars" was displayed more frequently in World War 2 than in the Civil War. It was planted for three days after the battle of Okinowa in 1945 80 years after the American Civil War....perhaps they are to blame for this symbol not the CSA.
Here's the thing. I think it all comes down to respecting each other, especially within the fire company. I can see why the confederate flag may offend someone, as well as some other symbols. Racism can go two ways. I was spat on as teenager by a college volleyball team of another race (Not sure why- dressed for an FFA convention) and was called a white cracker by a passing car when I was checking out TSU for a potential doctorate. I didn't go there as a result (I am actually asian and caucasian, but ?).

In the South there is a lot wrapped up in confederate history. There are a lot of old families that associate the stars n' bars and other flags with family long gone versus how it can be perceived, but may or may not be racist. The city I work for used to have Forest in the lobby of city hall and then he was placed upstairs (keep in mind this was the founder of the ku klux clan, but like any human being was a complex mess). I didn't think much of it or pay attention to the picture (just some guy in a confederate uniform), until we hired another firefighter and I read the caption. It struck me that this could make another firefighter feel 'outside'. I told him I could quietly make it disappear, and he waved it off.

I have had another firefighter at the NFA during a state weekend come up to me and tell me he didn't think women belonged in the fire service. I didn't even know the guy, but I knew a Chief of the department and could easily have stirred the pot a bit. Experiences like that make me a lot more aware of how actions affect other people.

Point is, in a job where the 'brotherhood/sisterhood' is so important for morale and performance, why we insist on doing something that could alienate each other is beyond me. Even if the other firefighter waves it off, it can still help wear him/her down over the long haul. The symbol of what it stands for to you or me is not worth hurting another firefighter, period.
You say it's fact and then offer up the "confederate states constitution" as evidence isn't really proving your point.

Interestingly, James M. McPherson, the civil war historian you reference, "...signed a May 18, 2009 petition asking President Obama not to lay a wreath at the Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery. The petition stated:

The Arlington Confederate Monument is a denial of the wrong committed against African Americans by slave owners, Confederates, and neo-Confederates, through the monument’s denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes."

It would appear that your (singular) historical source disagrees with you.

In all of the southern state's resolutions (that I could find) to secede, they all mention slavery, almost all with in the first few paragraphs. That seems to place it high in importance.

States rights were important to the southern states because they wanted to keep slaves and the federal government was saying no. As the US expanded westward, legislation was being written to prohibit slavery in the new territories/states. Pro-slavery southern states saw themselves being out numbered by anti-slavery states.

You appear (to me) to be an apologist for the confederate south. You appear (to me) to seek every straw, any excuse, to bolster your case that, overall, slavery really wasn't that bad and everyone should just get over it.

"I can not join the IABFF....But if I started the White Firefighters Union Im sure someone would have a HUGE problem with that!" Do you think it might have something to do with over 300 years of slavery, repression, racism, segregation and discrimination and that now (over say, the past 50 years) they all need to get over it, put it behind them and move on.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be denying that slavery had a negative impact on the slaves and their descendants.

My comment about the godfather was facetious. I think quoting tv or movies to validate your personal viewpoint would be like getting snookie to agree with you.
"comprised of firefighters from the Indianapolis Metropolitan area. Although the Society was originally established by Professional firefighters of Irish heritage, today the Emerald Society membership is open to all firefighters regardless of family lineage or gender. Chapters exist in many large fire departments with the intent to promote goodwill and comaraderie among it's members."

This comes from the web page for the Emerald Society of Indianapolis

So we should cater to everyone and not rock the boat at all.....so we should have beige fire trucks....beige walls, not pictures?

we simply can not keep everything out that might alienate a person because people are so sensative now a days the slightes thing sets them off on the "Im Offended Rant"
My source is accurate....I never said he was a CSA supporter and never did I say slavery wasnt an issue I simply state that it was not the ONLY ISSUE.

Again you fail to address the rest of my argument, Im not denying that slavery was bad, but wasnt what happened to the Jews just as bad or even worse? If thats so then why do seldom hear of them getting up in arms about a symbol?

Yea I know it was facetious....perhaps you should get back on Wikipedia and look up sarcasm as well.

Really you crucify me for qouteing "The Departed" and then you bring in Jersey Shore references....Ill quote TV again....as they say on NFL Sunday Countdown....COME ON MAN!
The stars and stripes didn't go to war with the stars and bars to end slavery, just reunify the country. It was only after Lincoln realized that he actually had a fight on his hands and needed to do whatever he could to destabilize the south that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

In fact, had Lincoln lived it's very possible that there wouldn't be very many African Americans in the country today, because he wanted to ship them all back to Africa.

As for the "stars and bars longing for the pre-civil war days"...a whole lot more of that has to do with the Reconstruction practices of the radical Republicans than it does with the pre-Civil War days. It's also the basis for the anti-yankee feelings that exist in the south, and a big reason why the south lags behind in education, etc. to this very day.
As long as it's not naked people on display what's the problem? I see plenty of stickers that offend me like "No Fear after A Lotta Beer" and crap like that on people's helmets and t-shirts. Unless it's against a particular SOP/SOG stating that only what they give you will go on your helmet you should be able to put anything you want on it. Our dept. states that any stickers have to be approved by the Chief. So you don't see those sort of stickers at my dept. That also goes for accessories like helmet cams and the like. Living in the south for the majority of my life I have seen a lot of stars and bars. I don't find them offensive I pretty much ignore them just like I ignore the black power fists and other things I've seen on fire helmets, bumper stickers, etc. So if you want to limit this kind of thing make it an SOP/SOG and take it to your dept. That's my suggestion. As for the fight over the Civil War, why? That war ended in 1865. The North won. The South lost. The North will write the history the way they see fit. Many of us in the south don't like it, but it's a fact of life that we will have to learn to live with.
What source is accurate? You aren't listing any other than the CS constitution and McPherson. Simply saying your sources are accurate without listing or linking them is nothing short of nonsense.

I never said that there weren't *other* issues, only that slavery was the preeminent source. You seem to have a problem with that.

What exactly IS the rest of your argument? Your supposition that jews and blacks suffered equally? I really don't think so, kind of apples and oranges. But even so, you say "...slavery was bad, but wasnt what happened to the Jews just as bad or even worse?" Again you (at least to me) clearly are attempting to somehow diminish slavery and its lingering affects. Of course that alone was not enough so you went further by stating that (I'm guessing here) "...[we] seldom hear of them [jews] getting up in arms about a symbol?" Really? You want to stand hard by that statement? what is it....ummm, oh yeah, the swastika. Of course, maybe to you the swastika is/was just a harmless symbol.
So back to my orginal question, What do you find offensive on equipment or in the firehouse.

My list is:
Anything that demeans, defames or purposely embarasses a member
Something that is profane (I know it when I see)
Anything that causes another member to fear or be uncomfortable in the firehouse.

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