Firefighter allowed to keep flag sticker

    Now the Fire Commissioner says the American flag will be allowed as an exception to the ban on locker decorations.

    The sticker stays and the firefighter can return to work. That’s the story for a Chester firefighter who was suspended without pay for refusing to take an American flag sticker off his locker last week. Now the Fire Commissioner says the American flag will be allowed as an exception to the ban on locker decorations.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091020lffire.mp3]

    The debate over the American flag sticker drew national media attention, and a group of supporters from across the region. Many backers of the firefighter said because of the flag’s significance as a national symbol, it should be allowed.

    Temple University constitutional law professor David Kairys says allowing the American flag but banning other items on lockers, sets a dangerous precedent.

    Kairys: The fact that it occurs here in the context of an exception for a message that most people like, shouldn’t really give comfort to it. We should really insist that government stay out of the business of deciding which messages are allowable and which aren’t.

    The original decision to ban locker decorations came after a firefighter posted a cartoon some felt was offensive.

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