HINGHAM (CBS) — The Thin Blue Line flags are no longer flying on fire trucks in Hingham. Members of the fire department watched as police officers removed them Thursday morning. Instead, they will make their way around the state, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts announced Thursday evening.
The town had ordered the flags to be taken down after complaints about displaying political messages on government property. But the Hingham firefighters union refused to remove them, saying that the expression of support for police is not political and that it was a tribute to slain Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna.
The union said in a statement “we did not want to risk the chance of having these flags removed from the trucks in a disrespectful manner,” so members of the Weymouth police union did the job instead.
“It came to the point that we knew that an order for it to come down for one individual to remove the flags. We didn’t want that individual to have to take the brunt of whatever punishment came his way if he refused to do so,” said Lt. Chris Melanson.
The flags was slated to continue to fly at the Weymouth police station. However, Thursday night, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts tweeted a letter, which said that the Thin Blue Line Flags that were on the Hingham fire trucks would be displayed on fire trucks around the state.
“The thin blue line flag originally hung by Hingham Firefighters in honor of Sgt. Chesna will be making a tour around Massachusetts to be flown from fire trucks in communities that support public safety,” the letter from Rich MacKinnon Jr., president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, read.
When the tour is concluded, the flag will be presented to the Chesna family.