Shortly after the bloody massacre at a Charleston church people began arguing about the Confederate flag. The church shooting claimed the lives of 9 African-American worshipers and set off a heated debate regarding the public displays of the Confederate flag in the south. Although many have supported and opposed the flag’s presence in government buildings in the south, the debate was pushed to a new level after images of the alleged Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof, emerged. In one particular photo, Roof had draped himself in a Confederate flag. As a result of the shooting and heated debate, many southern lawmakers, including Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, have ordered the battle flag be removed from the state capitol. Many supporters of the flag disagree with lawmakers decision and argue that the flag has an important part in American history, especially in the southern United States. To help you understand both sides of the debate, we have gathered important information about the origin and history of the Confederate flag.
Emblem of Heritage or Symbol of Hate and Racism
Today, there is a heated debate about whether the Confederate flag is an emblem of heritage or a symbol of hate and racism. Many in the south, especially descendants of Confederate soldiers, believe the Confederate flag is an emblem of heritage, which deserves to be recognized and observed in history books. Those opposed to the Confederate flag believe it is a symbol of hate and racism. One of the reasons the Confederate flag is often associated with hate and racism is because it has become a symbol often used by white supremacist and neo-nazi groups. Learn more about the history and purpose of the Confederate flag here.
History of the Confederate Flag
The Confederate flag is the flag the Army of Northern Virginia used during the Civil War. The Confederate flag that is commonly seen today was not the first flag used by the Northern Virginian Army. Over time, the design of the Confederate flag has changed and so has its meaning.
The Southern Cross
Today’s Confederate flag is often called the Southern Cross. The cross is actually a Saint Andrew’s cross, which is named after the cross St. Andrew was crucified on. Sometimes, this particular cross shape is called a saltire. Many believe a saltire cross is a symbol of independence and freedom. Other countries that use a saltire cross on their flag include the United Kingdom, Scotland, and Jamaica.
13 Stars on the Confederate Flag
Inside the southern cross are 13 stars. 11 of the 13 stars represent Confederate states. The two additional stars represent Kentucky and Missouri. Neither Kentucky or Missouri was seceded during the Civil War, but these “slave” states were claimed by the Confederacy during this time. 11 states included in the Confederacy include:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
Was the Civil War Fought Over Slavery or Money?
Many believe that the Civil War was simply about slavery, and others believe the war began because of money. Some people strongly believe the north and south went to war over the ownership of slaves, and others believe the war began because the north and the south were worried about the other financially destroying them. Depending on what side of the argument you feel strongly about likely influences how you feel about the Confederate flag. Things to consider when deciding how you feel about the Confederate flag is the fact that it wasn’t just southerners that owned slaves. In fact, history shows that slaves were owned in the north and the south. Many also believe that slave ships flew Confederate flags. History has dispelled this myth and pointed out that no southern flag ever flew on a slave ship. The south didn’t even have any slave ships. Slaves were brought to North America by the Dutch, English, and Portuguese.
Confederate Flag is a Battle Flag – Not a National Flag
When determining whether you support or oppose the Confederate flag, it’s important to remember this isn’t a national flag. Instead, the Confederate flag is simply a battle flag. The flag was first introduced as a national flag, but was rejected as so in 1861. It was carried into battle by the south, and was never intended to be a national flag.
The Confederate Flag is not an Authorized Symbol of Hate Groups
Unfortunately, many hate groups, the KKK, the Aryan brotherhood, and white supremacist use the Confederate flag in their literature, videos, and even at rallies. However, it is important to remember the Confederate flag is not an authorized symbol of hate groups. The SCV, Sons of Confederate Veterans also use the Confederate flag as a symbol of their group. Unlike the hate groups that embrace the Confederate flag, the SCV understands the heritage of the flag and works daily to dismiss the misconceptions that the flag is an authorized symbol of hate groups.
Celebrities Weighing in on the Confederate Flag Controversy
With all the controversy surrounding the use of the Confederate flag on government buildings and at promotional events, many celebrities have weighed in with their opinions. Nascar driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., went on record stating he believed the Confederate flag is important, and belongs in the history books. Ben Jones a former democratic politician and Dukes of Hazzard actor defends the use of the Confederate flag and calls it a symbol of “the spirit of the South.” Celebrities that oppose the Confederate flag include Whoopi Goldberg and John Oliver. Goldberg compares the battle flag to the swastika used by Nazis and Oliver says the flag identifies with the worst kinds of people.
It doesn’t seem like the controversy about the Confederate flag will die down anytime soon. Feel free to share your opinions for or against the waving of the Confederate flag in the comments below.
911 Signal USA is an online retailer of quality emergency vehicle lights and accessories. Browse our online inventory to find affordably priced LED light bars, dash lights, surface mount lights, and more.Read More
The PL4-D8 traffic advisor is ideal for volunteer firefighters, ambulances, police, and utility truck drivers. This traffic advisor has linear lenses and will help you direct or move traffic whenever you need it. The unit is available in split or solid color combinations and is a great addition to any emergency light set-up.
What You Need to Know About the PL4-D8 Traffic Advisor
The PL4-D8 traffic advisor meets and exceeds SAE safety standards. The unit is created with 3W LEDs and comes pre-programmed with 30 flash patterns. All of the LED modules in the unit are rugged and water-resistant. The unit measures 35” L x 2.2” W x 1.8” H.
PL4-D8 Flash Patterns
No matter where you go, you can count on this LED traffic advisor to provide you with exactly what you need. Check out our demo video below to see the variety of flash patterns offered by this unit. In total, the PL4-D8 creates 26 different flash patterns.
Traffic Advisor is Sold with Mounting Brackets
When you purchase this emergency light from our online store, you will receive everything you need to install the light right away. The best thing about this dual color traffic advisor is that it is incredibly easy to install. In fact, with two simple screws, you can install this light right away.
PL4-D8 Traffic Advisor Product Demo YouTube Video
To truly showcase how unique the PL4-D8 traffic advisor is, we have created a detailed product demo video. Watch the video to see how effortlessly the light switches from code lights to directional arrows. There is no cool down period between code lighting and directional lighting, so you can flip the switch whenever you need to.
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The temps are heating up, winds are blowing, and humidity is low in Arizona, which means it is the perfect time for wildfires to erupt. As a result, the Arizona Department of Transportation has come up with several tips for drivers near wildfires. This is important because more than 50 percent of wildfires are caused by humans.
Tips for Drivers to Prevent Wildfires
- Don’t park in tall grass
- Do not throw lighted cigarettes out of a vehicle window
- Don’t allow loose chains from trailers to drag on the ground (These chains can cause sparks that can ignite roadside fires)
- Keep an eye out for signs of a developing fire, especially in fire sensitive locations
- Watch for Red Flag weather warnings (When red flag warnings are present, wildfires can start quickly and easily
- On any internal combustion engine use a spark arrestor
Tips for Driving Through Wildfire Smoke
The tips above will help drivers prevent wildfires. While it is best to avoid driving through smoke from wildfires, it may be unpreventable at some point. If you have to drive through wildfire smoke, follow the tips below.
- Use low beam light (high beams will reflect off the smoke and reduce visibility)
- Watch for slow-moving or parked vehicles
- Allow for adequate distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
- Never rush to get out of the smoke
- Use the edge of the road or the painted edge line as a guide when you face low visibility in smoke
Following the tips above can help you prevent wildfires and can help you manage wildfire smoke if you encounter it.
911 Signal USA is an online retailer of quality emergency vehicle lights. Our online store is packed with affordable LED dash lights, visor lights, traffic advisors, and so much more.Read More
When firefighters noticed a drone videotaping them as they tried to put out a structure fire, they tried to drown the drone with water from hoses. Since footage of the incident has been released by the drone owner, John Thompson, many have taken sides. Many people the firefighters were wrong, and others blame John Thompson and support the firefighter’s decision to take dowhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?t=57&v=zzTqjmp1yN0n the drone.
Drone Owner Claims Firefighters Damaged Equipment
In TV interviews and on his Facebook page, Thompson has stated that he did nothing wrong when he took his drone to the scene of a structure fire. He goes on to say when the firefighters attempted to drown his drone, they severely damaged his equipment. Reportedly, the drone cost Thompson about $2,200, and is now damaged.
Thompson Filmed Firefighters for About 12 Minutes
Thompson’s drone wasn’t immediately drowned by firefighters. Thompson has released footage from the film that goes on for about 12 minutes. Shortly after the 12 minute mark, the firefighters began to hose down the drone.
No Official Word from Fire Department
So far, no official word from the fire department has been released. However, supporters of Thompson and the firefighters has been rampant on social media. Supporters of Thompson have issues with the way firefighters handled the situation. Many want to know why the firefighters wasted time and water to shoot the drone out of the sky. Supporters of the firefighters suggest that flying a drone over a structure fire is intrusive, snoopy, and distracting to the firefighters. However, others have pointed out that some fire departments actually have their own drones that help them in water rescue and other situations.
What do you think?
We want to know what you think? Should citizens or news outlets be able to fly drones over structure fires or other rescue situations? Were the firefighters wrong to shoot down the drone with water? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
911 Signal USA sells LED emergency vehicle lights for first responders. We offer dash lights, full-size lightbars, and surface mount lights at affordable, everyday prices.Read More
If you want to get a bunch of firefighters fired up about a topic, ask them what they think about firefighters having beards? Beards worn by firefighters go back decades. In fact, a beard was actually good to have back in the day before masks. In these days, firefighters would wet their beard and pull it across their mouth and nose to help filter smoke out. Generally, there are two sides to the debate; firefighters who are absolutely opposed to firefighters having beards, and those, who probably have beards, and claim the facial hair doesn’t bother their protective gear at all. However, OSHA, the NFPA, and many captains state firefighters should not have beards and here is why.
Beards and Facial Hair can Interfere with SCBA Mask
The main reason firefighters aren’t permitted to have facial hair is because it can interfere with their SCBA mask. An SCBA mask seals underneath the chin. Facial hair prevents the mask from sealing air tight, which could put a firefighter in danger. A mustache on the other hand does not interfere with SCBA masks because it is located on the lip and the mask seals on the outside of the face. Pro-beard firefighters don’t believe you can’t get an airtight seal because of a beard.
Positive Pressure Type SCBAs Don’t Require an Airtight Seal
Pro-beard firefighters state that you can get an airtight seal with a beard, and also point out that with new SCBA masks, you don’t need an airtight seal anyway. New SCBA masks are positive pressure type, and don’t require an airtight seal to work properly. Firefighters who allow their firefighters to sport facial hair, usually volunteer fire departments, on the job do so because their department uses the new SCBA mask.
Regulations Against Firefighters Having Beards
The National Fire Protection Association code 1981 is responsible for creating standards of respiratory protection and functional requirements of SCBA. Under this standard firefighters are not allowed to have facial hair.
OSHA Regulation Banning Facial Hair
Many firefighters have been able to bend the facial hair rule because of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A). OSHA has clarified this policy several times, but there is still great turmoil about its meaning. Under this policy, any employer is not allowed to allow an employee to wear a respirator with a tight fitting face piece, if they have facial hair. The reasoning behind it is that facial hair can come between the seal surface of the face piece and the face, and put the wearer in grave danger. While this rule doesn’t technically ban firefighter facial hair, it does require an employer to only allow employees to wear an SCBA mask, if it fits correctly. The only way to do this is for the employee to have a clean shaven face where the respirator seals against the face.
Why Take the Risk?
The clean shaven face rule is usually always enforced in paid departments, but volunteer firefighter captains have a harder time enforcing these rules. However, when it comes to a firefighter’s choice about whether they wear a beard or not, it’s important to consider why you would even want to take the risk? Of course, we understand there are firefighters who swear their mask fits properly, even though they have facial hair, and we also understand the new SCBA masks blow out all the bad stuff, but the fact of the matter is, OSHA and the NFPA still require a clean shaven face with any respirator wear. The other thing to consider is what would happen if you developed a lung-related disease in the future? Would your eligibility for benefits be questioned because of the years you wore a beard?
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In 2014, there were 2,283 railroad crossing collisions in the US, and 270 fatalities. This is an 8.8% increase for collisions, and a 16.4% increase in fatalities. While the threat of dying in a vehicle collision is something people acknowledge and accept, people are actually much more likely to die in a collision with a train or intersections where tracks meet the road, if basic safety measures aren’t followed.
International Level Crossing Awareness Day
In the face of these statistics, Operation Lifesaver, which includes the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Federal Railroad Administration, have worked together to create “See Tracks, Think Train!” This campaign will be worldwide, in 43 countries, and was created to promote national safety awareness about railroad crossings.
National Railroad Safety Awareness Campaign is Aimed at Educating Pedestrians and Drivers
The new campaign is aimed at education. Particularly, the campaign is targeting pedestrians and drivers about safe railroad crossing behavior. It also reminds everyone that trains can’t steer and the fact that it can take engineers up to a mile before coming to a full stop.
Operation Lifesaver’s See Tracks – Think Trains Campaign
Operation Lifesaver’s See Tracks – Think Awareness Campaign is sponsored by railroad and federal agencies. Agencies associated with funding the campaign include the Federal Railroad Administration, Association of American Railroads, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administrations.
911 Signal USA encourages everyone to watch Operation Lifesaver’s latest railroad safety message. Not only can train/car collisions injure drivers and passengers, but it can injure railroad employees too. Order LED emergency lights from 911 Signal USA today!