Supporters of allowing Newton firefighters to display a “Thin Red Line” flag at the Nonantum fire station plan to hold a rolling rally from the fire house to City Hall Thursday, organizers said on Facebook.
The flag, which firefighters displayed in tribute to fallen comrades, flew for more than two years at Fire Station 4 before it was ordered removed in June.
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller issued an order to department heads that allows only US flags and Newton banners to be displayed on city buildings. Her decision led hundreds to protest at the station in June.
Organizers of that protest are now preparing a rally that will travel from Fire Station 4 in Nonantum to City Hall, where they will deliver a petition that calls for the flag to be restored at the fire house, according to a Facebook post.
Participants in the rolling rally are being asked to gather at 4 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot across the street from the Nonantum fire house, according to the post.
The demonstration will begin at 4:30 p.m. and travel along Crafts, Washington, and Walnut streets, before arriving at City Hall at about 5 p.m. the post said.
“Please line the route and wave your red line flags!” the post said.
The group also posted photos of signs supporting the flag that read “Honor the firefighters.”
Fuller has previously said her decision was not about the firefighters’ flag, which is a tribute that she supports.
The order she issued in June is “about not putting the City in a position of censoring/endorsing which banners and ideas put forward by our employees will be on the sides of our buildings,” a city spokeswoman has said.
City councilors have also called on the mayor to reverse the decision, and Local 863, which represents firefighters, has filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Labor Relations.
Fuller offered to fly the firefighter flag on a special ceremonial pole at Newton City Hall. In a Facebook post earlier this month, rally organizers said they considered this a thoughtful gesture, but declined.
“Our goal is to have the flag put back in Newton Fire Station 4,” organizers wrote.
A red stripe flag to honor firefighters has been on display at Newton City Hall since early July, a city spokeswoman said.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.