The post has been shared more than 2,500 additional times and reacted to by more than 7,200 people. Parker used the phrase “thin blue line” constantly in his speeches. The flag was featured very prominently at the rally — a change from the last several Wisconsin rallies that Trump has held in other cities. Ambush killings of police have actually declined more than 90 percent since 1970, even with the recent spikes, according to a study by Michael White, a professor of criminology at Arizona State University. Mourners wore blue neckties and hair ribbons at the funeral service, but the fallen officers’ caskets were draped with American flags. They are the tangible symbol of a people united for a cause. | U.S. Air Force photo / Airman Zoe T. Perkins. A July 31 NPR report highlighted a fight between a Massachusetts fire department flying the flags in honor of fallen police officers and community members who felt the flag was an overt display of racism. The phrase gained another boost with Errol Morris’ 1988 film “The Thin Blue Line,” in which a Dallas judge quotes a prosecutor describing what separates “the public from anarchy.” The title was ironic, if not sly, since the film depicted how law enforcement sent an innocent man to death row. First the anti-Black Lives Matter flag flew outside his rallies, then beside the American flag. Officers have worn versions of the flag on face masks while clashing with protesters in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Those who fly the flag have said it stands for solidarity and professional pride within a dangerous, difficult profession and a solemn tribute to fallen police officers. By displaying this memento outside your home, you are showing the utmost respect and honor to the law enforcement officers who serve this country. Interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, and the Thin Blue Line is interpreted in different ways. Thin Blue Line American Flag with Grommets. In a review of photos of the Oct. 24 Waukesha rally taken by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Thin Blue Line flag is hung prominently behind the risers behind the podium where Trump spoke. It’s a flag to show support for law enforcement — no politics involved.”, "Jacob said the flag was not a direct reaction to the first Black Lives Matter protests — an idea suggested by a previous origin story in Harper’s — but he allows he may have first seen the thin blue line image after those protests spurred the circulation of pro-police imagery online. 4.9 out of 5 stars 387. It represents fallen law enforcement officers and many people use it as a show of support for members … The flag essentially is a black-and-white version of the American flag, with a single … If you're looking at the community as a potential enemy, or a threat, that’s certainly going to hinder any positive relationship.”, The idea of a “thin blue line” can be traced all the way back to an 1854 British battle formation, a “thin red line” used during the Crimean War and then popularized in art, poetry and song. The phrase started showing up in speeches by politicians and related news coverage from Chicago to Los Angeles. In Janesville, on Oct. 17, the flag was featured on one side of the stage, while a larger American flag was featured on the other side of the stage, photos from the Journal Sentinel showed. Black Lives Matter has been invoked around the country this year during massive protests that were launched after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Two sergeants carry the Thin Blue Line flag as they walk at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in May 2019. Thin Blue Line’: What does an American flag with a blue line mean? Supporters of the Blue Line flag are not insensitive to the Flag Code’s standards. $ 14.99. Notify me when this product is available. Thin Blue Line flags are black and white American flags with one stripe colored blue. The flag has been popularized by the company “Thin Blue Line USA,” which also sells clothing emblazoned with the symbol. But as the images have multiplied, so have the meanings. Thin Blue Line Flag-American Flag-Police Flag-Gift for Husband-Anniversary Gift-Gift for Boyfriend-Office-Police-Thin Blue Line-Flags ARSIXDESIGNS. “The police and community together should work together, in order to produce safety. The symbolic meaning of this thin blue line is representative of all law enforcement officers. “It fosters this ‘us versus them’ mentality,” he said. Thin Blue Line American Flag - 3 by 5 Foot Flag with Grommets. Available in 3 x 5 Feet and 4 x 6 Feet Reinforced with … © 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Fact check: Images show Melania Trump, not a body double, The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag, Donald Trump continues Wisconsin push, hoping he can replicate 2016 formula, Trump tells thousands in Janesville that Wisconsin is key to winning ‘the whole ball game, Donald Trump tears into Joe Biden in return visit to Wisconsin. I am proud of what I do, the people I work with, and the ones who have died defending the rights of strangers. After Parker’s sudden death in 1966, the city named the police headquarters after him. “Police should not be embracing a criminal as their symbol,” the character’s creator, Gerry Conway, told Syfy Wire last year. On top you … The Thin Blue Line flag is a field of black background separated by a thin blue line. As Jacob built the company, a “Blue Lives Matter” movement was growing in the wake of news stories of multiple officers shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Brooklyn, New York; and Dallas, Texas. 3 x 5 FT 4 x 6 FT. 3 x 5 FT 4 x 6 FT. Qty. While some see the Thin Blue Line as a symbol of support for police, or a symbol showing the separation of order and chaos, or a dedication to fallen police officers, some see it differently. I will continue to fly that flag until my very last day.”. In his view, the police “protected Western civilization from communists, progressive politicians, minorities, anybody who agitated for something that didn’t fit his very narrow scheme,” said Alisa Kramer, who wrote a 2007 dissertation on Parker’s tenure. So, those attending the rally or seeing the images could easily see the flag as an “anti Black Lives Matter flag.”. FLAGS These flags are perfect for showing your support to our brothers and sisters in blue. So the portion of the post that says that the flag was featured prominently — and more prominently than at earlier rallies — is on the money. The image and description — that the flag has taken on greater prominence at the Trump rallies in Wisconsin — is on target. By displaying this memento outside your home, you are showing the utmost respect and honor to the law … But it has also been flown by white supremacists, appearing next to Confederate flags at the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. In the 1950s, “The Thin Blue Line” was the title of a short-lived television show about the Los Angeles Police Department, masterminded by the chief, William H. Parker, who took advantage of Hollywood’s proximity to make public relations a key part of his tenure. The thin blue line flag may be displayed alone or sharing a staff with the American flag, which must always remain preeminent. That’s significant.”, Alongside the screenshot, the Facebook post read: “Trump flew the anti-Black Lives Matter flag at his rally in Wisconsin. This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. The Thin Blue Line Canada Lanyard. As the 2020 election heads into its final days, a Facebook post is claiming that President Donald Trump replaced the American flag with an “anti-Black Lives Matter” flag at a recent Wisconsin rally. That blue stripe is meant to symbolize police officers as the “thin blue line” between order and chaos. 5 out of 5 stars (219) … These flags are perfect for showing your support to our brothers and sisters in blue. 4. Cary Aspinwall is a staff writer for The Marshall Project. Thin Blue Line American Flag - 3 by 5 Foot Flag … And the Thin Blue Line flag has become a prominent part of the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement, which arose to counter the Black Lives Matter movement. They argue that it's not a desecration of the American flag, because it's a completely different flag. Demonstrators burned Thin Blue Line flags outside the Sacramento Police Department on March 2, 2019, after the district attorney announced that officers did not break any laws when they shot Stephon Clark in 2018. (The company disavowed its use in Charlottesville.). The "Thin Blue Line" flag is seen as divisive by some, especially in the context of the debate over policing in the United States. In a June 8 article by the Marshall Project, “The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag,” Andrew Jacob, president of Thin Blue Line USA said: “The flag has no association with racism, hatred, bigotry. Law enforcement officers and supporters who display the thin blue line flag — on patrol vehicles, uniforms and, in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks — view it … Thin Blue Line Canada Flag - Embroidered - Champion Bomber Jacket. The “thin blue line” symbol existed before several of his colleagues were gunned down by a sniper in July 2016, he said. To be sure, it is possible to support police officers and the Black Lives Matter movement. In Montclair, New Jersey, a police leader begged residents on a Zoom call not to view the flag as a “symbol of racism.”. At issue: A Thin Blue Line flag that was prominently featured behind Trump at an Oct. 24 rally in Waukesha. We rate this claim TRUE based on our research. After the ambush of Dallas officers in 2016, the flag became a common sight in yards and on bumper stickers around the city, along with “Back the Blue” and “Thank a Cop” signs. That Trump replaced the American flag with the Thin Blue Line flag as the centerpiece of his rally is a rejection of … A Marine turned vigilante who first appeared in Marvel comics in 1974, the Punisher fought crime through extrajudicial murder and torture. County officials in Oregon recently paid $100,000 to a black employee of a law enforcement agency there, after she said she was harassed by co-workers for complaining about her colleagues displaying the flag at work. Unit price / per . “There are a lot of parallels between Parker and Trump; Parker had no understanding of the complexities of poverty and racism.”. Sale. The short fraught history of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American flag, The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag", Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. … “I don’t really care if it bothers people or hurts their feelings to see that flag. The thin blue line flag is entirely consistent with the ideals of freedom and justice. The flag essentially is a black-and-white version of the American flag, with a single red stripe replaced by a blue one. Full Size 5’ x 3 ‘ Joint Thin Blue Line / Thin Red Line Canadian Flag. The flag, a black and white rendition of the American flag with a blue stripe running just under the stars, is meant to represent the men and women in blue standing as a line between law and … But Trump himself has been harshly critical of the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, labeling them as violent and claiming they were stoked by anti-government elements. Thin Blue Line Flag: 3x5 ft with Embroidered Stars - Sewn Stripes - Brass Grommets - UV Protection - Black White and Blue American Police Flag Honoring Law Enforcement Officers | Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP. I absolutely could care less. Social media allows for endless remixing, and the offerings now appear infinite. ", Whatever the intended meaning of the flag, it has come to carry different connotations to different people, At protests in Charlottesville in 2017, where white supremacist groups and supporters gathered to protest the removal of Confederate statues throughout the country, the blue-line flag was featured alongside Confederate flags, according to an Aug. 18, 2017, report from USA TODAY. Thank you for supporting our journalism. The Black Lives Matter movement arose in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed teen Trayvon Martin in Florida, according to the movement’s website. The American flag and blue line have often been blended with the image of a skull associated with the Punisher comic book hero. While in high school in West Bloomfield, Michigan, he had attended a memorial service for a police officer who had been killed on the job. If I had a mind … Despite that language, the American flag is depicted in many other ways for a number of purposes, many commercial. “It feels akin to a Confederate flag.” She has also noticed the flag’s image on police and other government-owned vehicles, and she sees this as evidence that even self-described liberal officials are not doing enough to combat white supremacy. Candles in the shape of the date "7/7" and a Thin Blue Line flag are displayed at the Dallas Police Headquarters to honor the officers killed on July 7, 2016. The flag has become a point of contention amid a national reckoning over racism and police violence. He also opened up the department’s files to the writers of “Dragnet.”, Parker was known for unambiguous racism. Together, these... Sewn stripes for added strength Reinforced fly hem with 4 rows of stitching Brass Grommets for hanging flag on a pole or displaying indoors Made from DuraSleek™ Polyester The Thin Blue... High Quality, Durable Polyester Features a sleeve to fit on your garden flag pole Garden flag … Add to Cart. Flag Code, which specifically states: “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”. Click here, for more. The company began marketing the flag in 2014, amid the Blue Lives Matter movement, which itself was launched in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. 'That’s maybe why it came to my eyes,' he said. “The flag has no … Now it has replaced the American flag. “The supposed ‘liberal’ answer to Donald Trump has not been as critical of police violence as it should be,” she said. “We did it as a morale booster for each other,” union president Tony Montoya said, “not as a political statement.”, Local skirmishes and letters to the editor in various states have questioned whether the thin blue line flag is a violation of the U.S. And is it an “anti-Black Lives Matter” flag? County officials in Oregon recently paid $100,000 to a black employee, military gear directly from the Department of Defense, mixes the imagery with the Disney World logo, Sig Sauer pistol covered with the flag and blue line, begged residents on a Zoom call not to view. “We’ve seen trucks riding around with big old versions,” said Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter, about the protests in recent days. A conservative activist places the U.S. flag along with others including "Don't Tread on Me," ""Come and Take It" and the Thin Blue Line on a pedestrian bridge above Highway 100 in Minnesota. DANF Thin Blue Line Flag 3x5 ft Made from Nylon - Embroidered Stars - Sewn Stripes - UV Protection Black White and Blue American Police Flag Honoring Law Enforcement Officers. In Cold Spring, New York, local leaders debated last week whether placing a decal of the flag on a police car would make some people afraid to ask officers for help. In Mosinee on Sept. 17, Trump spoke in front of Air Force One and no flags were prominently displayed, according to photos by the Journal Sentinel. Thin Blue Line Flag SVG - Police Flag svg, Back The Blue svg, Blue Line Flag SVG, Blue Line Flag Template, Support Police svg, jpg, png, eps PretePrints. Jacob said the flag was not a direct reaction to the first Black Lives Matter protests—an idea suggested by a previous origin story in Harper’s—but he allows he may have first seen the thin blue line image after those protests spurred the circulation of pro-police imagery online. Last month, San Francisco’s chief of police, Bill Scott, banned his officers from wearing face masks emblazoned with the thin blue line flag, worrying they would be seen as “divisive and disrespectful.” The masks had been distributed by the local police union, which accused the department of failing to provide masks. There was a concern that it could be seen as a political statement related to cutbacks in police forces. • In 2015, police officers in Sussex, England were told by their supervisors to remove a badge from their uniforms with a blue line across a union jack since it was not part of their official uniform. Politifact explored the claim, noting that Thin Blue Line USA began marketing the flag in 2014, shortly after the Black [Lives] Matter movement picked up steam. Police were not actually in greater danger than they had been before the Black Lives Matter movement. From shop ARSIXDESIGNS. It carries no special code and is often adapted to clothing design and other items for display. The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag The controversial version of the U.S. flag has been hailed as a sign of police solidarity and criticized as a symbol of white … The post in question was shared by a group called “The Other 98%” — a left-leaning nonprofit, according to its bio on Facebook — the day after the rally. Now, as police again become the focal point of a fight for racial equality in the U.S., the flag has returned to both mirror and amplify divisions. This story was published in partnership with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit newsroom covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Each should respect the role of the other. Over the years, officers around the country occasionally placed stickers of a blue line surrounded by black on their cars. Parker’s tenure augured a bigger shift toward militarism in police departments, which came to buy military gear directly from the Department of Defense. That said, while it is possible to support both, Trump has made clear he opposes the Black Lives Matter protests — and made that opposition, and a strong law-and-order message, a prominent part of his reelection campaign. In 2017, the Thin Blue Line flag was flown during the Charlottesville incident, then reported as the biggest gathering of white nationalists in over a decade, which ended with a woman … The Facebook post featured a screenshot of a Twitter post by author and Dartmouth College English professor Jeff Sharlet, that included a photo and read: “Tonight in Wisconsin. 5 out of 5 stars (163) 163 reviews $ 50.00 FREE shipping Bestseller Favorite Add to Thin Blue Line , 13 x 23 American Flag, Wooden Flag, Rustic American Wooden Flag… The thin blue line flag stands for the sacrifice law enforcement officers of this nation make each day. Maurice Chammah is a staff writer for The Marshall Project who has reported on a range of criminal justice subjects, including wrongful convictions, jail architecture and predictive policing. When deputies hoisted the flag outside government buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Orange, California, the sheriffs in both communities were sharply criticized. The controversial version of the U.S. flag has been hailed as a sign of police solidarity and criticized as a symbol of white supremacy. Flag Code, which states: “The (American) flag should never have placed upon it, nor any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.”. So much for not disrespecting the troops …”. The Thin Blue Line flag, like other flags of its kind, represents the good in law enforcement and shows the county’s support for them, Becker explained. A June 9 Politico report said even police officers have mixed reactions to the symbol, with some departments banning it outright, while others display it on government-owned vehicles. Dallas Police Sgt. White understands how the thin blue line flag has become a part of police culture, and that officers may view it as a sign of solidarity, but he also worries about the message it sends to the public. At issue: A Thin Blue Line flag that was prominently featured behind Trump at an Oct. 24 rally in Waukesha. From shop PretePrints. According to the company’s website, the flag is meant to be a sign for “promoting compassion and support for our nation’s police officers.”. The Politico report also noted that the flag is controversial because of its likeness to the American flag, and because of the U.S. Now, Jacob is the president of Thin Blue Line USA, one of the largest online retailers devoted exclusively to sales of pro-police flags, T-shirts, neckwear and jewelry. But how did this flag come to be so pervasive? You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here. According to lawyers James Clapp and Elizabeth Thornburg, who have dug up the history behind popular phrases, the idea migrated to other professions, with other colors, from a “thin white line of bishops” to a “thin blue line of public schoolboys in blazers.”. Stephen Bishopp has a doctorate degree and has studied police stress, use of force and officer misconduct. Regular price $29.99 Sale price $24.99 Sale. But in numerous places where it's sold online, it's called the Thin Blue Line American Flag or the American Thin Blue Line Flag. When asked why the flag was placed behind the president, Wisconsin Trump Victory —  the state’s Trump campaign group — did not respond. To him, it symbolizes respect and understanding for the families of officers killed in the line of duty—including suicides. “That’s maybe why it came to my eyes,” he said. Now, Jacob is the president of Thin Blue Line USA, one of the largest online retailers devoted exclusively to sales of pro-police flags, T-shirts, neckwear and jewelry. Criminologists Don L. Kurtz and Alayna Colburn have analyzed the language police officers use in formal interviews, and argue that the “thin blue line” idea is an example of popular culture informing internal police culture, highlighting “the assumed differences between officers and citizens and further progresses an ‘us versus them’ mentality among officers.”. The phrase was further popularized by the novels of Joseph Wambaugh, himself a former police officer in Los Angeles, and it typified Parker’s philosophy: Having served in the military, he wanted to end corruption and professionalize the police force. Size. First, the Flag Code is essentially “precatory”—meaning it’s a guide to what the government hopes people will do with the flag, but it’s entirely unenforceable as law due to the First Amendment. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, as a presidential candidate, called police “the force between civilization and total chaos.” Some states began passing laws to categorize physical attacks on law enforcement officers as hate crimes. A so-called thin blue line flag on a truck in Pelham, N.Y. You can buy a sticker that mixes the imagery with the Disney World logo. The thin blue line. Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook. Flags matter. Recently, the flag was flown from the back of a car alongside protests in South Dakota, and burned outside the Utah State Capitol. “The flag has no association with racism, hatred, bigotry,” he said. He said some immigrants were “not far removed from the wild tribes of Mexico” and compared black residents participating in the 1965 Watts Riots—which stemmed in part from anger over his own department’s mistreatment—to “monkeys in a zoo.”. The Thin Blue Line Canada … from $ 69.50 Thin Blue Line Canada - Ball Cap - Flag Centre - Flexfit $ 32.50 Thin Blue Line Canada - Embroidered Polo Shirt - Black $ 29.99 Thin Blue Line … “When I see that flag as a sticker on a car or flying in someone’s yard, I know that there is someone there that knows what I’m going through. We ask our nation to hold faith with those that defend the thin blue line." Still, the American Legion, which played a key role in drafting the Flag Code and is the go-to authority on proper U.S. flag etiquette, has not taken an official position yet on the black-and-white version with a blue line, a spokesman told The Marshall Project. At the Dallas Morning News, she reported on the impact of pre-trial incarceration and money bail on women and children in Texas and deaths in police custody involving excessive force and medical negligence. The Parker Center went on to be a primary site of protests in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. As protests over policing continue to convulse cities throughout the U.S., one symbol keeps showing up: a black-and-white American flag with one blue stripe. You can buy a dog tag necklace, with Matthew 5:9 engraved on the back: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Law enforcement officers can buy a special edition Sig Sauer pistol covered with the flag and blue line. They know because they are a part of the family,” Bishopp said. | Mason Trinca/Getty Images, Police officers themselves are also not speaking uniformly about the flag. It was occasionally used for police, they write. More:Fact check: Images show Melania Trump, not a body double. “In a way, it’s as offensive as putting a Confederate flag on a government building.”, Although the flag’s manufacturers have tried to keep politics away from the flag, the current protests over the death of George Floyd have thrust the image into larger debates. But that usage caught on in 1922, after New York police commissioner Richard Enright, facing criticism of his leadership, mentioned it in a public relations effort. In 2014, a white college student named Andrew Jacob was watching protests of police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice. And what does it really stand for? “It’s a flag to show support for law enforcement—no politics involved.” The company officially disavowed its use in Charlottesville. | Tony Webster/Flickr. He had seen the image of the flag on patches and stickers, he told The Marshall Project, but not an actual flag. 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