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New York State Senate Passes Legislation Keeping Symbols of Hate Off of Public Property

Legislation was introduced following incidents on Long Island where Confederate Flags were displayed on Fire Trucks and on Public Property.

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Confederate flag on display at the Levittown Fire Department Station 3, located at 284 N. Wantagh Avenue, Bethpage.

Photo by: Office of State Senator Kaplan

Recently, the New York State Senate passed legislation introduced by State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont), S.4615A/A.5402A that will ensure symbols of hate are prohibited from being displayed on public property and taxpayer funded equipment throughout the state of New York. The legislation comes following a widely reported incident last year involving the display of a confederate flag on a fire truck in a parade in Suffolk County, and following the revelation of a confederate flag being displayed in a window at a fire department in Nassau County.
"In the past year, we have seen hatred and hate fueled violence explode across the country, and it takes us all working together, speaking with one voice, to say that hate has no place in our community, and we will fight back against it every step of the way" said bill sponsor Senator Anna M. Kaplan. "Public property belongs to all of us, and this measure is critical to ensure that our public property isn't used to promote hatred. I'm proud that we passed this vital piece of legislation through the Senate with strong bi-partisan support, and I look forward to my partner Assemblymember Solages passing it in the Assembly soon so that it can be signed into law this year. It's simply too important, and we can't wait any longer to get it done."
“Hate-inspired symbols will never be tolerated in our state, and I am proud to partner with Senator Anna Kaplan to ensure that all municipal corporations adhere to that very sentiment,” stated Assemblymember Michaelle Solages. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that New York State stands firm and consistent in our commitment to denouncing hate, bigotry, and intolerance in all its forms.”
The legislation, S.4615A/A.5402A, will prohibit the selling or displaying of symbols of hate on public property: Expanding on legislation enacted last year (S.8298B), the bill will prohibit municipal corporations, towns, cities, villages, fire districts, volunteer fire companies, or police departments from selling or displaying symbols of hate, except when the display is for educational or historical purposes.
The legislation passed the Senate with a vote of 56-7, and now goes on to the Assembly where it is expected to be taken up by the Rules committee soon.