MIDWOOD, Brooklyn — The FDNY told the city's 15,000 firefighters and other FDNY employees that no Donald Trump items were allowed on shirts, trucks or any public surfaces.
Employees who are supporters of the president-elect are now publicly crying foul.
However, a random sampling of Midwood residents showed mixed reactions to the political message ban, and that mix transcended ethnic and gender lines.
The situation began when some firefighters on Engine 276 here placed a mask of Donald Trump on the front of the fire engine in a show of support for the newly-elected president.
Some residents of the neighborhood complained. That led to a call from headquarters to commanders citywide to remind the rank and file that no political images, including pictures and t-shirts, are allowed on official vehicles or in firehouses.
"This was never about one candidate, specifically," said the FDNY in a statement. "It was a reminder of our regulations that prohibit this type of language and signage."
None of the firefighters involved would talk on camera. Their union president, however, issued a statement of his own. “Honoring and respecting the office of President of the United States is an American tradition," said Uniformed Firefighters Association President Jim Slevin.
"What is quite ironic," his statement continued, "is that the president-elect’s photo will soon hang in every federal building, on military bases and U.S. Embassies across the globe.”
Back in Midwood, reaction was mixed across ethnic and gender lines to the ban on the display of images of the president-elect. He was endorsed and celebrated by white supremacist groups and who found himself in the middle of controversy because of his comments on women.
"It's public property," said one local resident, who only gave his first name, Paul, regarding the Trump mask on the fire engine. "It's not for advertising."
Another man, Jordan, also wanted only his first name to be used said that he didn't necessarily object to the Trump display. "We have to accept that he's our new president," he told PIX11 News.
Lily Hakim was outright supportive. "There's no problem," she said.
Artwork is commonly displayed on FDNY heavy vehicles, including masks, paintings, shields, even bull longhorns. The political nature of this latest incident is what sets it apart, according to the FDNY.