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Hingham Firefighters Union Refusing To Take Down 'Thin Blue Line' Flags

HINGHAM (CBS) -- The Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 is urging the town fire department to reconsider its decision to remove Thin Blue Line flags from its engines that were being displayed leading up to the anniversary of Weymouth Sgt. Michael Chesna's death. The union said in a Facebook post Monday that the flags are still up and its members will not personally remove them.

The department said in a statement last week that the flags "have taken a different political meaning, which might be offensive to some" and have to come down due to a town policy forbidding political messaging on town property.

Local 2398 denies that the flags are political.

The past few days have been very disappointing for the members of Local 2398. Our disappointment began with the decision...

Posted by Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 on Monday, July 27, 2020

"Honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of law enforcement is not political. Period," union president Lt. Chris Melanson wrote.

He said no union member "was able to sacrifice his or her moral fortitude in order to remove the flags from the apparatus."

hingham blue line flag fire
A Thin Blue Line flag on a Hingham fire truck (WBZ-TV)

"They will have to be removed by someone other than a member of this union," he said.

Sgt. Chesna's widow Cindy took to Facebook on Sunday to speak out against both police reform legislation in Massachusetts and the Hingham fire department's decision on the fire engine flags.

"I take each of these actions as a personal attack on everything Mike stood for as a police officer and a decorated army veteran with 2 two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan," she wrote. "My children are growing up in a world where police are vilified. Their father was not a villain, he was a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice. His memory should never be tarnished by anyone."

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