What Flag Is That? May 3, 2020

I debated for hours about flying this flag today. It is what has become known as The Thin Blue Line flag, originally representing the role Police Officers play in society.

It has a connection historically to what was known as ‘The Thin Red Line’ (not the flag we know as supporting fire fighters.) The Thin Red Line was derived from the 1854 Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean war. The 93rd Highland Regiment of British Foot Soldiers who held ‘their line’ against Russian forces. From that time the expression was associated with defense against chaos.

In 1911 in a poem about the bravery of the US Army Soldier the author referred to ‘the Thin Blue Line’. So, the expression kept surfacing as a description of someone who maintained order. In 1950 the police chief in LA called his police officers ‘the thin blue line’.

It is sad that there has been controversy surrounding the expression and the creation of the flag. There have been other appearances of the concept. In England it surface in a ‘Union Jack’ flag.

When it was first introduced here in the US, there were some who said it was a violation of the US Flag Code to make a flag that was so close to the US Flag. In close inspection of the Flag Code, I disagree. The Thin Blue Line Flag with it’s black stripes and the blue line are not like the US Flag. If the blue line was introduced to a red, white and blue flag that would be questionable.

But, unfortunately there have been attempts to ‘co-op’ The Thin Blue Line flag by disgusting groups. Someone was holding the Thin Blue Line flag at the Charlottesville demonstration in 2017. I strongly object to this outrageous stealing of an honored flag that was created for a good purpose.

It is similar to the absolutely awful misappropriation of a historically significant flag: The Gadsden Flag. It has nothing to do with what it has become known as today.

I fly The Thin Blue Line flag as a demonstration of our respect and appreciation to Police Officers, like Denise’s brother Jack, who served and protected for three decades.

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