The Los Angeles Police Department banned the Thin Blue Line flag because it now allegedly symbolizes “undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views” held by extremist groups.
The Thin Blue Line symbol is a pro-police emblem that is said to represent the thin line between order and lawlessness in society that is maintained by law enforcement who wear blue uniforms.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore sent an email to department personnel on Friday announcing that the department was banning the Thin Blue Line symbol. The LAPD has barred the Thin Blue Line symbol from being displayed in public areas of police property.
Moore defended the ban by saying the Thin Blue Line has been “hijacked” by “extremist” groups. He claimed that he received a community complaint this week about the presence of the Thin Blue Line flag in the lobby of the police station. The complaint alleged that the Thin Blue Line flag “symbolized support for violent extremist views, such as those represented by the Proud Boys and others.”
Moore told Fox News, “It’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the ‘Thin Blue Line flag’ to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views.”
Moore said he viewed the Thin Blue Line flag as symbolizing “the honor, valor, dedication, and sacrifice of law enforcement to protect our communities.” However, the police chief said some people had undermined the flag with their “racist, bigoted and oppressive values.”
He declared, “I directed to have the item taken down from the public lobby. The U.S. flag should be proudly displayed in our lobbies whenever possible. Memorials for our fallen are also authorized in all public spaces.”
Moore said the police station should be “free of political ideology.”
Moore said LAPD officers can display the Thin Blue Line flag in “their workspace, locker door, or personal vehicle.”
The board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a union representing nearly 10,000 police officers, “vehemently” opposed the ban and accused Moore of “political pandering.”
“It is difficult to express the level of utter disgust and disappointment with Chief Moore’s politically pandering directive to remove Thin Blue Line flags and memorials for fallen officers from all public areas within our police stations,” said the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “This direction came as a result of complaints from anti-police, criminal apologists, and activists who hold too much sway over our city leaders and, unfortunately, our Chief.”
The union lampooned the ban as “disrespectful and defeatist kowtowing by our department leadership to groups that praise the killing of police officers and outright call for violence against those of us in uniform. We have directly expressed our outrage to the Chief.”
The union asserted that the flag was actually a “symbol of unity.”
“Let’s all remember what the Thin Blue Line flag is and what it represents: The Thin Blue Line flag features a black and white image of the American flag with the horizontal stripe beneath the field of white stars on the black background,” the statement read. “The stars represent the citizenry who stand for justice and order. The darkness represents chaos and anarchy, and to many, a memorial to the law enforcement officers who have perished in the line of duty.”
A similar ban was enacted in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This week, the Springfield township board voted to ban the Thin Blue Line from township property.
Commissioner Ed Graham claimed, “When you wave this flag, it is just like for African Americans the waving of a Confederate flag.”
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