The Warren Fire Department drew fire Friday morning when members raised one of the nation’s oldest — but these days, controversial — flags from one of three flagpoles they maintain at the Warren Town Common.
Their flying of the Gadsden Flag, a Revolutionary War-era flag depicting a coiled rattlesnake with the slogan “Don’t Tread On Me” below it, angered some residents because though it was originally created to protest the British government prior to and during the American Revolution, it has become a symbol to some of the American Tea Party movement. That conservative movement questions many of the policies, particularly fiscal, of the federal government.
The flag was raised alongside the state and U.S. flags early Friday morning. By 10:30 a.m., Warren Fire Chief Al Galinelli had received a call about it from the town manager. By the afternoon, it was taken down.
“At first I thought it was a joke,” said the chief. “The flag was put up because it’s a flag from the revolution and a lot of Warren guys fought in the revolution. It was only put up to memorialize them. Flying the flag does not mean we’re supporting any political party or movment.”
The department has control over what flags it raises at the common, and when. Usually, the POW/MIA flag flies on the third pole along side the state and U.S. flags. But with the return of warm weather and the impending Memorial Day and Fireman’s Memorial parades, crews decided to fly them again and thought a good change of pace would be to fly the Gadsden flag, the chief said.
“It was only done for history’s sake. If people got offended I apologize. I just hope the American flag isn’t offending anyone, becaue that’s one flag I’ll never take down.”
Why is it that I suspect the people who are offended by the Gadsden Flag are just as offended by the US Flag?
Never EVER apologize or give in to people who get offended. It’s like paying the ransom, you just make it easier for them to do it again.