A firefighter in Orange County, Fla. was recently suspended after his supervisor discovered he had painted a Confederate flag on a county-owned axe.
According to Mediaite.com, the firefighter is the son of an assistant fire chief (video below).
The axe was discovered when firefighters answered a fire call at an African American man's home in Pine Hills, Fla.
A fire department lieutenant saw the axe with the flag painted on it, told a supervisor and took it away before the black homeowner saw it.
The firefighter claimed he painted the Confederate flag on the axe because it “signified his small town roots and core values of family and hard work.”
Historically, however, the Confederate flag represented the South went it fought for slavery during the Civil War.
The Stars and Bars was resurrected in the 1950s in the South when schools were ordered to stop segregating black students from whites.
The firefighter, who denies being racist, was penalized for 12 hours with an unpaid suspension, notes WFTV.
An Orange County Professional Standards investigation report said it was "startling" that other firefighters at the station denied ever seeing the axe while doing regular equipment checks.
"Either they knew and didn't say anything, or they should have known," said Orange County Fire Chief Otto Drozd.
Fire Chief Drozd added that more than half his firefighting staff is being transferred.