When I lived in Philadelphia, my daughter went to the ironically named Independence Charter — a school located right next to the Liberty Bell and the Pennsylvania State House. I was a little surprised when some of the parents (most of them, actually) protested against an American flag being hung in the lobby. “It represents xenophobia,” one said. And “we need to get over this American exceptionalism myth once and for all,” said another. (They also edited “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and only let the kids participate in non-competitive physical activities like yoga instead of kickball.) That was many years ago, but I’m still surprised when I see things like this: American flags were removed from three Arlington Fire District trucks Tuesday, sparking heated discussion on social media and disappointment from union members. Fire Chief Tory Gallante was directed by the Board of Fire Commissioners to remove the flags from the backs of the trucks during Monday’s meeting. He declined to comment on specifics of why the decision was made but said he is “very disappointed with their direction.” Arlington Fire Commissioner Chairman Jim Beretta said the board majority feel the flags are a “liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists,” and that the board had not been consulted before the flags were mounted. The flags, which were only recently mounted on the trucks at the request of the union, were removed during a ceremony at Arlington headquarters in the Town of Poughkeepsie Tuesday. Union President Joseph Tarquinio said he’s disappointed in the board’s direction, but “if we had to take them down, they had to be taken down the right way. At the time when the country needs unity, to do something like this … it’s next to flag-burning in my mind.” It’s unclear why the Board members wanted the flags removed; some cited safety concerns. However, I have a hard time believing there were many flag-related injuries plaguing the town of Arlington. More than likely, it has to do with the rampant anti-Americanism that pervades even our own citizens. And it’s a shame. But the firefighter are all class – even as they comply with this ridiculous regulation: Tell me what YOU think: Should the Firefighters be able to keep the American flag on their trucks?