Pa. FF Suspended Over Flag Sticker Reinstated

Posted: 10-19-2009
Updated: 10-19-2009 04:57:57 PM News

CHESTER, Pa. -- A Chester City firefighter suspended last week after he refused to remove an American flag sticker from his locker has been reinstated, according to IAFF Local 1400.

The union statement also said they have reached an agreement with city to display the flag on the lockers.

The suspended firefighter, James Krapf, refused to follow a new directive from the department to remove all decorations from outside lockers. News reports have said that the policy first arose after several firefighters found a co-worker's cartoon offensive.

The Delaware County Times reported that about 75 protesters from as far away as Pittsburgh and Maryland turned out to protest Krapf's suspension outside the firehouse this morning as a meeting between department and union officials was held inside.

Fire Commissioner James Johnson commented on the agreement during a press conference aired on the WTXF-TV Web site following the meeting.

"Discussions concluded in an agreement between both parties that a revision of Directive 35 will be constructed by the fire commissioner and local 1400 to include proper display of the U.S. flag on lockers under the guidelines of the U.S. Code of flag display."

He added, "There was never intent to desecrate the American flag. Firefighter Krapf has been reinstated to duty as agreed upon by the parties."

During the press conference, Firefighter Krapf expressed his relief that the incident had been resolved.

"I'd personally like to thank everybody for their overwhelming support," he said. "I've received phone calls from around the country, e-mails to the union's Web site. It's been unbelievable.

"I'm just glad to be back at work."