when officers and also law enforcement supporters have adopted the picture as a resource of pride, others watch the blue line flag together a banner of defiance


What began as a phrase, came to be popularized as a graphic image, climate unfurled together a thin blue line flag, has been around for a long time.

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The thin blue heat is viewed on police cars, lapel pins, coffee cups and COVID-19 masks. Only recently has the thin blue heat flag sparked controversy.

While police officers and also supporters of regulation enforcement have embraced the photo as a resource of pride and fraternal kinship, others view the slim blue line flag as a banner of defiance in a time of demands for police reform.



with a "Thin Blue Line" flag in the background, president Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally on Oct. 16, 2020, in Macon, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

1. What go the slim blue heat mean?

The most reliable account that the origin of the thin blue line is the story of the thin red line. A red-coated Scottish regiment that the British army during the Crimean war heroically stood, outnumbered, against repeated Russian attacks. This initiative of the 1854 battle, most notably associated with Alfred, lord Tennyson’s city “Charge that the light Brigade” was explained by the British press as the thin red line. The idea of a heat of brave defenders standing in between peace and chaos was obtained by law enforcement whose generally blue uniforms to be testimony to true blue loyalty and steadfastness.

2. What is the slim blue heat flag?

The enhancement of the blue line symbolism to a flag is claimed by slim Blue line USA, a agency created in 2014 by then-college college student Andrew Jacob to display support for legislation enforcement. The thin blue heat flag features a black and white picture of the American flag with the horizontal strip beneath the ar of white stars on the black background. The stars stand for the citizenry who stand for justice and order. The darkness to represent chaos and anarchy, and also according to some, a memorial to the deaths that those regulation officers who have perished in the line of duty.


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The thin blue line flag might be presented alone or share a staff with the American flag.

3. Where is the thin blue heat flag flown or displayed?

The thin blue heat flag might be shown alone or share a staff with the American flag, i beg your pardon must constantly remain preeminent. The thin blue heat flag is entirely continual with the ideals that freedom and also justice. That carries no one-of-a-kind code and is often adapted to garments design and other items because that display.

4. Can civilians fly the thin blue line flag to display their support for police?

The thin blue heat flag to represent the ideals the justice and freedom, bravery and also solidarity. Back it has great meaning for the fraternal feelings of police officers for rather in the profession, that is not reserved for use just by police officers.

As symbolized through the ar of stars, citizens space integral come the article of the flag. Those who desire to to express their assistance for police officers and also their cooperation in the mission of law and order have to feel free to fly the slim blue heat flag.

Sadly, the thin blue line has been falsely established with police misconduct and racism. Those who screen blue line symbolism through flag or decal have confronted verbal abuse and vandalism. Some Homeowners Associations have actually opposed the flags, and also even some police agencies have removed the picture from your patrol cars, terminal houses and uniforms.

But Jacob, the flag"s creator, argues that together opposition is completely misplaced. “The flag has actually no association through racism, hatred, bigotry,” the said. “It’s a flag to display support for legislation enforcement—no national politics involved.”

In fact, his firm vehemently disavowed the use throughout the Charlottesville protests. 

While it"s true the the flag"s creation coincided with that of the burgeoning black color Lives matter movement, Jacob insists the the flag wasn"t a direct reaction. The flag is frequently associated, however, through both the ago the Blue and also Blue Lives issue movements. 

5. Where have the right to I acquire a slim blue heat flag?

Thin blue line flags and also other commodities are widely obtainable online in enhancement to the slim Blue line USA site. Many assets are brand or otherwise protected even though they are widely copied.

Flags and also symbols have been part of families, trades, soldiers and also nations since before recorded history. Other first responders have embraced colors and also emblems. The Maltese overcome of firefighting and also the star of life because that EMS are examples. For police officers, accoutrements of your profession room the badge and also the uniform, through the thin blue line emblems being a recent enhancement that deserve to be mutual by every citizens who treasures the thin line between peace and also chaos.

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Next: 3 points to consider before you advanced a thin Blue line flag


Joel Shults operates Street smart Training and is the founder the the National center for Police Advocacy. He retired together Chief that Police in Colorado. End his 30-year job in uniformed legislation enforcement and also criminal justice education, Joel offered in a range of roles: academy instructor, police chaplain, deputy coroner, investigator, ar relations officer, university professor and also police chief, among others. Shults earn his doctorate in educational Leadership and also Policy evaluation from the university of Missouri, through a graduate degree in public Services administration and bachelors in Criminal Justice management from the college of central Missouri. In addition to service with the U.S. Army military police and CID, Shults has actually done observational studies with end 50 police agencies across the country. He has actually served top top a variety of advisory and advocacy boards, consisting of the Colorado short article curriculum committee, as a subject issue expert.