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TROY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina volunteer fire department has refused requests to take down the Confederate flag flying outside the station house, and county officials are threatening to restrict its funding.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department gets $19,000 a year from Montgomery County, plus $400,000 annually for fire trucks. The department was organized as a nonprofit corporation in 1983.

County commissioners said in a letter this week that they would limit the fire department’s funding until it removes the flag. They said they would pay only for fuel and maintenance of the two county-owned trucks that firefighters operate. The county also will replace the Uwharrie name on the trucks with graphics “in support of the county’s stance on equal rights and freedom of speech.”

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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  • Mike Dalton

    Like the quote at the end of the last paragraph “freedom of speech” yet the entire article is about taking away someone’s freedom of speech

  • Darrell Parks

    Each volunteer FD owns it’s own trucks. Fire taxes and fund raisers provide the money. Cutting funds will only endanger people in the fire district. I do agree the flag shouldn’t be flown, though.

  • Christopher Meyers

    They’re responsible for firefighting and public safety services they provide for FREE, nothing else. They can just go home and laugh at the fat boy, ceegah smokin’ commissioners and their silly demands! Then the commish’s can figure out how to pay for replacement robots. Aren’t much on freedom and choices are ya Shamma? But, I’ll bet you REALLY love your FREE stuff, huh?

  • IUsedToBeCalledModerate

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of treason – nothing more, nothing less. It is a reminder that a failed ideology (owning people) led to otherwise honorable military men betraying not just their country but their oath to uphold and defend the constitution. The flag belongs in a museum next to other flags of failed ideologies like the Nazi Swastika and USSR Hammer & Sickle that have cost this country spilled blood in defense of the ideals we hold true.

    • guest45

      bologna

    • Christopher Meyers

      So I have to assume you feel the same way about the great Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal only to mention a few efforts funded by slave labor and death.
      To bring you up to speed, slavery wasn’t “invented” in the US, it was brought here by the British and had been in use for thousands of years before. It is still in use to this very day in many countries that YOU buy products from on a daily basis!
      There’s my 2-cent contribution your silly “museum”…..build it and nobody will give a rat’s backside!
      My big point, nobody has the right to mandate what a “volunteer” organization can or cannot embrace. They don’t get paid a rusty nickel for their firefighting service and put their lives on the line for it. The smart thing for all of them to do is to stop providing that service and let the town and the citizens deal with it.
      You just can’t strong-arm volunteers!

    • Mike Dalton

      You many want to do a little more research next time before you post… so you don’t look so uneducated. Funny thing is, the Confederate Flag wasn’t even the Flag of the South

  • Spaghetti Monster

    I agree with the Commissioners. The Confederate flag is a relic of a time long ago when America was torn to shreds and hate was rampant. The Fire Department serves all people in its district. The only flag that should be flying is the American Flag. A government entity should not fly a flag of a long ago tragedy that represents war and strife, when that entity must be dedicated to saving lives and homes of ALL the people it serves from being destroyed by fire. The community that this fire department serves deserves a department that exudes professionalism and character, not one that dredges up a tragic time in US history.

    • Christopher Meyers

      You are absolutely clueless about the history of the United States. The Confederate flag isn’t a “relic” and the war wasn’t about “hatred”. That is only speculation and a solid lack of knowledge on your part!
      Do you understand how the current US flag was developed and how it evolved into what it is today? You need to read…BADLY! Do you think WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam war were “fun” and weren’t “tragic times in history”? War is hell, but it has been a necessary effort to maintain the freedoms this country still enjoys!
      You’d best get on your knees and say some serious prayers for the individuals that have given life and limb for the preservation of this great country. Then begin with some 3rd grade history texts and work your way up before putting stuff like you just posted for people to read!

    • guest45

      It’s a volunteer fire dept, nobody is paying these guy’s, they are giving up their free time to try and save lives and property, if you want to cut off their funding, close the fire dept, see what that does to your homeowners insurance, and see how you feel when your house is going up in flames!

    • Mike Dalton

      If the fire department refused to provide services to certain people then I would agree, but as long as they are providing the same service to all individuals, then your argument is invalid

  • Christopher Meyers

    My, my, my. Today’s America, where everyone has to strong-arm someone else with “money” because they’re offended over something. Pitiful, simply pitiful and a basic display of the overwhelming weakness we are becoming as a society.
    Firemen, you are volunteers and get paid nothing for the services you provide. Turn in your boots and your helmets and let the county taxpayers finance a “for hire” fire department, if they have enough sense and money. That way, the podunk commissioners can force them to come lick their boots anytime they want. You guys don’t have to do diddly! Let them have it!

    • Evelyn Turno

      You are 100% spot on.

  • guest45

    maybe the commissioners can start to actually do something besides set in a chair and spout hot air, put on a fire suit and go out and actually see what it feels like to do a community service!

    • Christopher Meyers

      …and perform that service for FREE.

  • Vince DiPietro

    Maybe the commissioners can show up to drive the trucks when the members walk away? Or, hire an adjacent fire district to answer calls. Residents should be concerned until this is resolved.

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