New state law prohibits hate symbols at schools, police and fire departments

New state law prohibits hate symbols at schools, police and fire departments

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new law that prohibits school districts and fire and police departments from selling or displaying symbols of hate.
The legislation was introduced after two separate incidents happened on Long Island last year.
A Confederate flag was displayed on a Brookhaven firetruck during a parade. The Levittown Fire Department had a Confederate flag displayed in their window as well.
"The recent and disgusting rise in racist, homophobic and hateful behavior will never be tolerated in New York,” Hochul said.
The new municipal law is similar to one signed in 2020 that banned the display of hate symbols on state property.
“In the absence of morale and common sense, we have this municipal law to hold people to a higher standard,” says Georgette Grier-Key, president of the NAACP of Brookhaven.
The legislation prohibits the display of symbols of white supremacy, neo-Nazi ideology or the Confederate flag.
“Free speech is not always free, that there are consequences, because that's hate speech, that's not free speech,” says Andrea Bolender, of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.
News 12 reached out to the Brookhaven and Levittown fire departments for a response on the new law.