A Pennsylvania firefighter who was suspended after refusing to remove a sticker of the American flag from his locker has been reinstated. And James Krapf will be allowed to leave the sticker on the front of his locker.
It all began last week with a new department rule that required all stickers to be removed from lockers of Chester City firefighters. It seems several offensive and racist images had been posted. Krapf figured Old Glory would be okay. He figured wrong -- all meant all.
"The chief came out and said 'You have to remove your stickers.' I said 'No disrespect chief, but I'm not taking the flag off,'" Krapf told WCAU-TV. He says the officer then asked him to leave.
"It's the American flag, we should be able to fly it wherever we want…I don’t believe it's offensive to anyone," Krapf said.
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Fire Commissioner James Johnson agreed the sticker itself is not offensive, but said rules are rules. "We wear the American flag on our uniform…it's flying outside that station," he said. "It is not about the American flag or patriotism."
Well, union and city officials met for two hours on Monday to discuss the case and when they walked out, Krapf was in the clear. He will rejoin the department on Thursday, and will get to keep his flag decal.
"I am glad to be back and ready to go back to doing my job," said Krapf.