Two Brookhaven firefighters have resigned after being suspended for their roles in displaying a Confederate flag on a ladder truck during a Patchogue parade, according to a statement by the department’s board of fire commissioners.
In the statement released Wednesday afternoon, the board wrote that “there is no place for racism of any kind” in the department and that the unidentified firefighters had “tendered their resignations,” Newsday reported.
The fire commissioners also announced “strict new guidelines” for displaying flags and symbols with “severe penalties for violations.”
Nearly 100 demonstrators gathered outside the firehouse on Montauk Highway chanting phrases including “Hey hey, ho ho, this racist flag has got to go.”
County Executive Steve Bellone asked the county Human Rights Commission to review what happened, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the state Division of Human Rights to investigate.
Elaine Gross, president of Syosset-based ERASE Racism NY, says that the department needs to go deeper to discover what happened.
“I think that if those are the only two, then that’s good,” Gross said. “I am assuming that there must have been a lot of people who saw this or were aware of this … It’s disturbing that no one saw fit to act.”