Smithtown fire department officials replaced the thin blue line flag on department vehicles with the American flag this month. This is a move following an order by police chiefs elsewhere in the country to limit or ban the display of designs by police officers on duty.
The black, white and blue striped design has become a sign of police support and was sometimes seen on flags and T-shirts at police rallies in Long Island last summer. But its symbolism is complex. These rallies were partly held in response to the Black Lives Matter march and featured Republican activists and politicians, the Trump 2020 flag and the message of Back the Blue in July Village of the Sometimes it was intertwined with election politics, like a brunch rally. The blue line flag was also carried by white supremacists at several well-known events across the country last year, and by members of a mob who attacked the Capitol on January 6.
Christopher Ring, a Smithtown fire department lawyer, said fire department officials switched “for harmony” after Newsday transferred a photo of a flying flag from the back of the fire department’s rescue 9 truck. Said that. I drove on the main street of Smithtown. “I didn’t mean to offend anyone,” Ring said. “They were careful and chose to replace the flag.”
On January 15, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Chief banned officers from displaying images of thin blue lines while on duty. “Fear and distrust that it is currently arousing too many people in our community.” Last spring, a San Francisco police chief said police officers were blue while patrolling Mayday’s protests. After causing controversy by wearing a line face mask, city police said they would wear a neutral face cover.
According to Ring, a blue flag has been raised on Rescue 9 since December 20, 2014, to New York Police Department Wenzian Riu and Rafael Ramos who vowed to kill police officers in Brooklyn in retaliation for the killings. I was shot dead.Black man by police
According to Ring, firefighters wanted to honor police officers who were sometimes dating at work.
The 2020 story by The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalist organization that covers criminal justice, dates back to the 19th century after being used by poets and before being disseminated by savvy police officers. I did. Designs have become more complex, commercialized and restructured in recent years as they are filtered via social media.
The story highlights Thin Blue Line USA, which is described as one of the largest online retailers of items with designs. The blue flag represents “law enforcement men and women who hold the border between order and chaos,” says a man in police uniform in a video on the site.
However, texts elsewhere on the site suggest that even that description has been at stake by recent history: “We relate the flag to racism, hatred, prejudice, and violence. I refuse as strongly as possible. ”