A Nebraska volunteer firefighter was ordered to remove the “Thin Red Line”-styled US flag from his vehicle on Monday, resulting in a dispute that ended up on social media.
Hospitalist Cody Meredith flew the flag off the tail of his truck on Monday -as a symbol of respect and solidarity with his fellow firefighters- until Crete Area Medical Center staff gave him a stern warning: remove the flag or take the truck off hospital grounds.
“It’s Sept. 11, Patriot Day,” Kristin Meredith, Cody’s wife, wrote. “We take fallen firefighters very seriously.”
Instead of removing the flag, Mr. Meredith opted to switch vehicles with his wife, who then took to social media -and the local news- with a litany of fury.
“He asked Cody to remove it, and Cody’s like, ‘Why?’” she wrote.
“The guy said, ‘Just remove the flag and we’ll be done with it.’”
Almost instantly, public backlash began to surface against the incident.
“What’s wrong with showing you are honoring the fallen firefighter as well as the many civilian lives that were lost through no fault of their own?” One person responded. “What’s this country coming to?”
The Journal Star contacted Bryan Health -owner of the Crete medical center- for answers, resulting in a spokesman looking into the matter.
“What happened was a mistake,” said Edgar Bumanis. “We’ve met with the employee and apologized to him.”
Reportedly, the staff were supposed to have him park in another spot, not remove his flag. However, it appears an employee took matters one step further.
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