Lose American flag or lose job; Iron workers stand ground after reported threat

UPDATE – Click here for the latest developments.

A group of ironworkers and riggers working in Louisiana have been told to remove American flags from their trucks or be terminated.

The decree came from those in charge of the CF Industries fertilizer plant expansion in Donaldsonville, La., on Thursday.

The outraged crew, consisting of Jarome Hatch, Jim Lovel, Trevor Lewis, Robert Griffiths, Cody Johnson and Daryl McEntyre, went to work Friday prepared to lose their jobs but not willing to remove their flags.

**Warning: strong language**

PJ Breslin

“If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything,” Hatch told BizPac Review. “We are absolutely prepared to lose our jobs to defend the flag, even though what we are doing is nothing compared to (the military) who defend it.”

The men, who are subcontractors for Industrial Piping Incorporated, said they’ve been on the job for months with the flags on their vehicles and no one ever asked for them to be removed until yesterday.

Trevor Lewis

“We’ve been on the job since Dec. 7 and there’s never been a problem before,” Hatch said.

Now suddenly, there is.

Jarome Hatch

Hatch told BPR that he and his crew are humbled by all the support they’ve received since they posted about the ultimatum on social media.

“Industrial Piping Incorporated has our back in this,” he said. “Other crews have taped American flags to their hardhats too.”

Hatch also said that his and other crews will be attending a fish fry on Saturday, run by Lauren Construction, as a fundraiser for local tornado victims. They will be driving up to the event and lining the streets with trucks and cars proudly displaying Old Glory.

CF Industries

Even local residents have gotten involved and have begun planting American Flags in front of the CF Industries offices, according to Hatch.

BizPac Review reached out to Chris Close, director of corporate communications at CF Industries, who stressed that the men were subcontractors and not employees, but he admitted he had no immediate knowledge of the situation.

Close said he would reach out to the Donaldsonville job site and get back to us with more information. We have not heard back from him yet.


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