MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Firefighters in Riverside County were ordered to take down a pro-law enforcement flag from one of their engines following the killing of several police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, according to reports.
CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department firefighter Eric Hille posted a photo of the flag – which resembles a black and white version of the American flag with a blue stripe through the center – on July 17 to “(h)onor those officers that have payed the ultimate sacrifice protecting their communities.”
But just one day later, Hille reported on Facebook that Riverside County Fire Station 48 was ordered by what he described as “the department pride police” to remove the flag.
Hille later clarified the order to take down the flag “came from above” Fire Chief John Hawkins, who Hille described as a “Fireman’s Chief”.
He also alleged in addition to removing the flag and a “Thin Blue Line” stripe from off of a door at the station, Hille said they were also asked to take down all images of the flag from social media and Hille’s personal Facebook account.
In a statement, Hille said, “I find it heart breaking (sp) that we are not allowed to show our support for our Brothers and Sisters in Blue in the event of the recent tragedies of all the Police Officers that have been killed in the line of duty. We can’t shroud our badges or even lower our station flags to half-staff, and this is just simply heart breaking.”