while officers and also law enforcement pendant have adopted the image as a source of pride, others check out the blue heat flag as a banner that defiance


What began as a phrase, came to be popularized as a graphic image, then unfurled together a slim blue line flag, has actually been roughly for a long time.

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

While police officers and also supporters of legislation enforcement have taken on the photo as a source of pride and fraternal kinship, others check out the slim blue heat flag as a banner that defiance in a time of needs for police reform.



through a "Thin Blue Line" flag in the background, chairman Donald Trump come to speak come a project rally top top Oct. 16, 2020, in Macon, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

1. What walk the thin blue heat mean?

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

2. What is the thin blue line flag?

The addition of the blue heat symbolism to a flag is claimed by thin Blue heat USA, a firm created in 2014 by then-college student Andrew Jacob to display support for law enforcement. The thin blue line flag features a black and white photo of the American flag v the horizontal stripe beneath the field of white stars ~ above the black color background. The stars represent the citizenry who stand for justice and also order. The darkness represents chaos and anarchy, and according come some, a memorial come the deaths that those regulation officers who have perished in the line of duty.


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The slim blue heat flag may be displayed alone or share a staff v the American flag.

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

The slim blue line flag may be shown alone or share a staff through the American flag, which must constantly remain preeminent. The slim blue line flag is entirely constant with the ideals the freedom and also justice. It carries no one-of-a-kind code and is often adapted to clothing design and also other items for display.

4. Can civilians paris the slim blue heat flag to present their assistance for police?

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

As symbolized by the ar of stars, citizens are integral to the article of the flag. Those who want to to express their support for police officers and their partnership in the mission of law and also order need to feel free to paris the thin blue heat flag.

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

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

In fact, his company vehemently disavowed that is use during the Charlottesville protests. 

While it"s true the the flag"s creation synchronized with the of the burgeoning black Lives matter movement, Jacob insists the the flag wasn"t a straight reaction. The flag is typically associated, however, through both the back the Blue and also Blue Lives issue movements. 

5. Where have the right to I gain a slim blue line flag?

Thin blue line flags and other assets are widely accessible online in enhancement to the thin Blue line USA site. Many assets are brand or otherwise defended even despite they are widely copied.

Flags and also symbols have actually been component of families, trades, soldiers and nations since before tape-recorded history. Other very first responders have adopted colors and emblems. The Maltese cross of firefighting and also the star the life for EMS are examples. For police officers, accoutrements of your profession space the badge and the uniform, through the slim blue heat emblems gift a recent addition that have the right to be shared by every citizens who treasures the slim line in between peace and chaos.

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


Joel Shults operates Street smart Training and also is the founder the the National center for Police Advocacy. The retired as Chief the Police in Colorado. Over his 30-year career in uniformed legislation enforcement and criminal justice education, Joel offered in a variety of roles: academy instructor, police chaplain, deputy coroner, investigator, neighborhood relations officer, college professor and also police chief, amongst others. Shults earned his doctorate in education Leadership and Policy analysis from the university of Missouri, through a graduate degree in windy Services administration and bachelors in Criminal Justice management from the college of main Missouri. In addition to organization with the U.S. Army military police and CID, Shults has done observational researches with end 50 police agencies throughout the country. He has actually served ~ above a number of advisory and advocacy boards, including the Colorado post curriculum committee, as a subject matter expert.