Are Blue Line Flags an Abomination?

Many people want to buy blue line flags, but people are questioning the meaning of the blue line flags and what they represent.

Many people want to buy blue line flags, but people are questioning the meaning of the blue line flags and what they represent. This may seem odd if you don't know the back-story, but allow me to explain.

We've been having people tell us, the Blue Lives Matter team, for a while now that we should be selling American Thin Blue Line flags. That way more people can openly show their support for law enforcement.

We're a group of police officers, not flag makers, so we never really did much with these suggestions besides thank people for their support. Then our official Blue Lives Matter shirt partner, Warrior 12, told us that they had ultra-high-quality American blue line flags for sale.

Thin Blue Line FlagFrom Warrior 12

When they put this up, it sure got a lot of attention, but also from people who weren't too happy with it. One user pretty much summed up most of the comments: "I will always support law enforcement but this is a desecration of the American Flag." This resulted in quite the internal discussion among those of us at Blue Lives Matter. People seemed split between the two groups.

On one hand, the American Thin Blue Line flag proponents said that it's not an desecration of the American flag, because it's a completely different flag. It's a flag specifically to represent support for American law enforcement. Most people seem to agree, as these flags are becoming more popular than ever and people love flying them side-by-side with American flags.

The other group says that it's clearly based off of the American flag, because it's supposed to represent American law enforcement. The American flag should not be altered in appearance; To do so is a violation of US Flag code which states: The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be fifty stars, white in a blue field. To them, the American thin blue line flag is an abomination.

We thought that the critics might have a point, and we quickly took down the Facebook post promoting the deal. Unfortunately, by taking the post down so quickly, we didn't actually get to see how most of our supporters actually felt about the issue.

We'd like to hear what you think about this issue. Should Blue Lives Matter forgo any support for the American Thin Blue Line flags? We want to hear from you. Please let us know what you think in the comments.

Comments (34)
No. 1-25
Americanmade
Americanmade

I do support our law enforcement agencies along with all agencies that are elements of our infrastructure. I do not think that raising support for blue lives is negative in itself, but coming from a family with a military history I believe that the american flag in itself is flawless due to the fact that it already represents ALL American lives. I believe that using other representations of the flag leads to further division, which we really really need to rally against currently.

hoohoo
hoohoo

I too support our law enforcement, however, I do not support the use of our country's flag in any form to further some support groups agenda. There was another flag that was used for "the thin blue line" or whatever it was called before, which is simply a blue line horizontally on a black field.

akjrawlins
akjrawlins

I also support our law enforcement and emergency responders. I am a veteran myself. I believe the American Flag represents everyone and everything in this great country. To alter it, is disrespectful, violates the USA flag etiquette and it segregates our society. Blue lines are for Police members. Red lines are for FireFighters. Soon, there will be a green line and an orange and yellow and so forth. I think Blue LIves Matter is a wonderful organization. It is pride and support for a calling that not just anyone can answer. I, however, believe that Blue Lives Matter should find a different representation that is not an altered form of a symbol that represents all citizens, professions, creeds, religions, etc. of this amazing country. I like hoohoo's suggestion of a blue line on a black field. Simple yet bold. Please stop using the American Flag base design. No matter what it is colored, to its core, it is an american symbol that was altered and that is against the flag code, 4 U.S. Code § 8 (g), a Federal Law.

Marily
Marily

Desecrating the USA flag, or altering it would require an actual red white and blue flag to be in use. Representations of it or duplications of it are not a violation listed in any of the codes. All the codes listed are referring to the red, white and blue that represent the USA. If you had chosen to make either a red or white line blue to support law enforcement in the US, then I could see the violation of altering our nat'l flag. Since there are law enforcement agencies in every state of this union I see no problem with using the theme of our nat'l flag, but colors that represent the law enforcement of our country. My questing would be, what does each color represent? Blue is the color of union in old glory, the white stars represent each state in the union. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original states, etc. What do you want to signify your color choices as representative of? I think you should have a flag that represents all law enforcement in this country, but maybe a little more thought put into why you chose this arrangement/color design and why when you present it for sale to your supporters. Perhaps this would help others understand that your flag is not dishonoring in any way the one that represents us as a nation. Many flags are in use in this country, and many are flown in proper sequence on the same pole or next to our American flag. There are no violations for other organizations flying their flag with the American flag. It's about proper placement. I have no problem with this one; there have been any number of new flags being flown in this country. This one has offended me very little in comparison to some of the others being allowed.

njdevilfire
njdevilfire
Marily
Marily said: Desecrating the USA flag, or altering it would require an actual red white and blue flag to be in use. Representations of it or duplications of it are not a violation listed in any of the codes. All the codes listed are referring to the red, white and blue that represent the USA. If you had chosen to make either a red or white line blue to support law enforcement in the US, then I could see the violation of altering our nat'l flag. Since there are law enforcement agencies in every state of this union I see no problem with using the theme of our nat'l flag, but colors that represent the law enforcement of our country. My questing would be, what does each color represent? Blue is the color of union in old glory, the white stars represent each state in the union. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original states, etc. What do you want to signify your color choices as representative of? I think you should have a flag that represents all law enforcement in this country, but maybe a little more thought put into why you chose this arrangement/color design and why when you present it for sale to your supporters. Perhaps this would help others understand that your flag is not dishonoring in any way the one that represents us as a nation. Many flags are in use in this country, and many are flown in proper sequence on the same pole or next to our American flag. There are no violations for other organizations flying their flag with the American flag. It's about proper placement. I have no problem with this one; there have been any number of new flags being flown in this country. This one has offended me very little in comparison to some of the others being allowed.

You are not a veteran, therefore, I can see where your ideas are more liberal towards this. As a background, I am an Army combat veteran as well as a professional firefighter. My father was a police officer and a veteran as well. I agree with the three prior comments. While I support the Blue Lives Matter, I cannot condone the alteration of our nation's flag. Having actually put some skin in the game, it represents something that should be considered bigger than a personal belief or opinion. To state that this is OK opens it up to interpretation by those who would desecrate it. Finally, I believe it completely violates the U.S. Code. The flag consisting of black and blue is itself, a violation of the very code you quote. It should always be represented in red, white and blue. While the Code is not punishable, this is still illegal. Being a law enforcement association, I would think you would want to uphold at least that.

ultrajim49
ultrajim49

I support Blue Lives Matter and all other Law enforcement agencies 110%...but I do feel our American Flag should not be altered or used to represent anything other than what it already stands for. God Bless and protect all our First Responders!

Appstar
Appstar

Make your own flag with your own design ,but do not have a representation / rendition of the USA Flag to change the meaning of the real USA Flag. If you are going to be invigorating, have your own style. They could maybe have a reason for arresting them for not having a permit to protest on government location site. But a lot of jurisdictions have no protest laws in their local municipal codes. But to arrest them for having this type flag and making a protest with it is not possible. What they got wrong with their protest was failure to have a USA Flag with them as a Free Speech guarantee. Most People do not realize that is a necessity when making a protest.

Yehren
Yehren

One of the rights we have as Americans is the right to desecrate the flag as we wish. Some might find it objectionable (I do) but it's legal. It would be an irony indeed, if we were to punish police officers for altering the American flag, when they have a duty to protect the right of others to do so.

As a veteran, and a son of a son of a son of a veteran, I wish you wouldn't do it. But it's your perfect right to do so.

meg33
meg33

I think that there would be no America without the police. So get over it.

gnew18
gnew18

Of course “Blue Lives Matter” ! All lives matter. I always chuckle though, if you were at a 5k supporting breast cancer awareness, would be running around angry that no one, at the moment, is talking about testicular cancer?

Ruspert
Ruspert

The flag of the United States of America should be treated with respect and dignity. There is no penalty for the desecration or the flag. Those that are a part of defiling the flag by altering the colors and/or displaying an altered flags can be justly reviled for their lack of respect. The fact that law enforcement personnel would be a part of this conduct makes the offense much more hurtful to those that have respect for the flag. I am a veteran of three wars.

Back-The-Blue Carrie
Back-The-Blue Carrie

References in the US flag code Title 4 chapter 1 paragraph 3 that you are all quoting is that it ONLY applies to the District of Columbia. http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html

RedBruh1
RedBruh1

The Thin Red Line and Thin Blue Line flags violates the US Flag Code. Don't get butthurt because I'm telling the truth.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

If you wish to show support for Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, or firefighters, that's cool. Do so by saying that you support either one of those groups. But what gets me is that Blue Lives Matter supporters feel the need to memorialize the LEOs names on t shirts and make profit out of it and politicalize it. If you put the names of deceased cops or African-Americans on t shirts, in my opinion, you're sick in the head. There's other ways to memorialize the dead.

JLCLong
JLCLong

Our family is Law Enforcement and Military, through and through, as well a Gold Star Family, having lost 2 soldiers within 18 months, recently. Blues lives have always mattered and so does the reverence, respect and beauty of Old Glory. The American flag means many things to many people. Our family has always been repulsed by the poorly altered blue line flag and know it is a desecration. We also feel whoever created the blue line flag invested not a drop of time to create a unique, individual image but manipulated an already existing image. Also it is not trademarked and no care is given to how the image it's uses or who manufactures it so, China can / could produce the flag.

There is a flag that was uniquely created to represent ALL First Responders and Community Servants and it is the HONOR and SACRIFICE flag. The non-profit organization ceremonially presents personalized flags to the Fallen Hero Families. Here is a video explaining the HONOR and SACRIFICE flag that is a much preferred alternative:

You will find much more time and thought went into creating a flag to uniquely represent fallen Law Enforcement, while keep in the American flag honored, sacred and intact.

Our public & national mission of Honor will never waver, to those public servants who stand in the gap preserving the rule of law and our personal safety, they will never be forgotten. The Honor and Sacrifice Flag was first unveiled on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, this flag was developed specifically to honor the sacrifices of Fallen First Responder men & women, of America.

From their website HONORandSACRIFICE.org they share the Flag Symbolism:

"The Blue Field" symbolizes nationally the law enforcement community.

"The Purple Field" respectfully signifies mourning for a loss in the firefighter community.

"The White Field" recognizes the purity of heart within each individual who serves and protects and is willing to face each day’s challenges regardless of risk.

"The Black Star" represents those who wear the distinctive badge including sheriff and marshal services.

"The Red Maltese Cross" recognizes all who have fallen in the emergency response communities.

"The Gold Shield" recognizes all law enforcement and other public safety representatives who wear the shield, including EMT and have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Gold reflects the value of the life given.

"The Folded Flag" signifies the final tribute to an individual life that a family has lost for the sake of others.

"The Flame" is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.

61mouse
61mouse

Alot of the shirts with names on are usually selling to give proceeds to the families

deanmcin
deanmcin

I also support our law enforcement and emergency responders. I am a veteran myself. I believe the American Flag represents everyone and everything in this great country. To alter it, is disrespectful, violates the USA flag etiquette and it segregates our society and national symbol. People are creative, I am sure someone if they tried could come up with an appropriate flag to show our support for law enforcement and first responders.

51Spanky
51Spanky

I very much dislike that blue stripe flag. When ever I see it it makes me think of dark, evil, total disrespect and a rebellious group. It makes me think of that disgusting flag of ISIS. I hang my head to think that some people think it is "cool" or a point maker. What are they thinking? In my opinion it is the ultimate insult to our country. It actually takes my respect for cops down a notch. They should know better. GET A NEW FLAG!

Regular Joe
Regular Joe

Looks like the flag Darth Vader would fly if he conquered our country. UNITED States of America, not POLICE State of America

Dizzy75
Dizzy75

20 years in the military and I think it shouldn't be altered. The way I see it right now it is dividing us right now just look at the different view points. We have so many things that divide us why should we add to the list. Why not have the flag in the correct dimensions and the add a border blue or red or what ever. To me that would be the fix. Old glory is still true and the thin blue line as a border shows your support. Just my 2 cents.

Sgtjmack
Sgtjmack

While I agree with you 110% on alteration of the U.S. Flag and showing support for the various groups, I do disagree with you about one point you have made. It appears to me that you are saying that since this person did not serve our country in the same capacity as you and I have, that they don't have the same amount of respect or understanding of the U.S. Flag as we do. If I am reading this wrong, I do apologize and this is not intended to be disrespectful or argumentative in any way. But I do not think that a person has to stand on the yellow foot prints, walk across the parade deck months later and then serve in the Fleet in one capacity or another in order to understand and respect the U.S. Flag the same way.

However, it is an alteration to the U.S. flag, regardless of the colors used, or lack thereof.

Sgtjmack
Sgtjmack

As stated many times on this board, I too respect and appreciate the Men and Women of the Law Enforcement Community all across this great nation. However, as per the code, (i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. This is an alteration of the U.S. Flag, regardless of the colors used, or lack there of. I have seen the Black flag with the Thin Blue/Red/Purple etc. Line in the middle, and I believe that is the more appropriate piece to use.

Respectfully, Jeremiah McKenna, Sgt USMC DAV/VFW

Ml73
Ml73

I agree that this is an alteration of the National Ensign and it bothers me as a veteran. To me it represents all Americans. Id be ok with black and white, but adding colored lines, logos, etc. just tells me that you consider yourself seperate from us regular Americans. If you want to be on a different team, then by all means rep your colors. The Crips and Bloods do it too. To me it means that police officers are more likely to help each other than me. Police have first amendment rights too, which is what protects flag desecration. Thats right you can burn it or whatever makes you feel special, and your constitutional rights protect you from any legal action as a result of any desecration. You'll find many veterans will feel the same. Civil servants often have a tough job to do and that is certainly commendable, but this was someones terrible idea. Its a money maker though, I'm sure!

KC_R
KC_R

I am a veteran, my Father, my Son, we served and have served under the most beautiful symbol of freedom the world has ever known. Using a version of this symbol of freedom to separate yourselves from all Americans is wrong on so many levels. The U.S.Military has flags for each group serving, they are flown with the American flag, showing our unity with our fellow Americans.

You are creating a symbol using the flag of all Americans to separate yourselves from us, you are saying your part of us, but not really. The German SS did the same thing in WW2, part of the German Army, but not really part of it, they felt elite. Please choose a symbol where we ( Americans ) can all show our support for your service and fly it next to the greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known.

Sayumeri
Sayumeri

I'm quite late to the party, i suppose, but the topic matters to me. I feel that whether this flag is a desecration or not all depends on the police force represented. The history of the line has mixed beliefs, as to the meaning of the line, and in reality, there are different sorts of officers that stand behind a badge. There is a history to this flag longer than the controversy put forth by piss-ants trying to stir shit up, though, and it begs to be said..."where were these dorks when the blue line hit the realms of reality, ages ago, in one of its various forms? Pissing in their diapers probably.

But, like the rattlesnake flag, as well as the confederate flag, there is meaning, history, and its not a damn american flag, because the colors are different. It can get so crazy if we feed into the constipation of every fart knocker that gets offended by stuff like this. Eventually a single star might offend so badly people get all up in arms over that,....or a line; a blue one, perhaps.

But this here is the deal. The more guns are regulated, the more our police forces must be supported with our loyalty and gratitude, because this means they will have to take on "your" responsibility, and cover you, and maybe even take a bullet "for you". This means, the more we place on them by more citizens not being ready to defend self and homes, in some form, the more they must stress for "US".

Give them a frickin' flag.

Our police where i am from are golden. They are fast. They are kind. They are respectful. They are the sort a ma would be proud of. And they don;t .... the last i knew, the department doesn't even have a calendar so the people can recognize. Great, with the drug problems here, and bum...frickery... going on in the nether regions of the hell of this place, the cops show up just as fast as for any...for any... and help any, even if its some dink they arrested two paces ago.

If you don't support a decent hard working cop, you're a bad person, because they'll support you. So grow up, and love these people.

They'll give their life for you, so represent.... if indeed you don't.