County Exec Bans Thin Blue Line Flag, Calls It 'Symbol of Dismissiveness'

Montgomery County resident James Shelton made the flags for National First Responders Day but some people were offended.

Germantown, MD – One Maryland man and his son set out to make the first official National First Responders Day memorable for firefighters and police officers in their district, but the county executive shut down displaying their efforts after anti-police activists complained.

The U.S. Senate voted in June to dedicate Oct. 28 as “National First Responders Day” to honor career and volunteer firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics all over the United States.

James Shelton and his son, Forrest, lovingly handcrafted a wooden Thin Blue Line flag for the Montgomery County Police Department’s 5th District in Germantown and a Thin Red Line flag for the firefighters at Quince Orchard Fire Station 31.

“It was an idea started by a fellow maker in Chicago to have woodworkers in every state to make a flag for their local fire or police depart for national first responder day,” Shelton posted to Facebook on Oct. 28. “I decided to do one for Quince Orchard station 31 FD and Germantown 5D PD. It was truly and [sic] honor to make these and donate them.”

“Forrest helped the whole way and delivered them with me this weekend and I couldn’t have been more proud,” the father continued. ‘He was so excited to help build and even more excited to deliver them. It is a wonderful memory we will never forget. Thanks to all our first responders.”

Shelton posted pictures of him and his son posing with the officers and firefighters and their respective flags to Facebook.

The post, which has since been made private, showed them making the flags and the little boy wearing a Junior Montgomery County police badge and posing with a fire house challenge coin during their visits to deliver the flags to their local first responders.

The Montgomery County police who received the thoughtful gift from the Sheltons were thrilled and tweeted a thank you note with a picture of some officers posing with the flag and the father-and-son woodworking team who created it.

“Thank you to resident James Shelton, who presented Montgomery County 5th District officers with a wooden American Flag that he had made in recognition of National First Responders Day. The flag will be displayed in the 5th District Station,” the Montgomery County Department of Police posted to its official Twitter account on Wednesday.

But not everyone in Montgomery County was gracious about the well-meaning donations.

Anti-police activists slammed the flag gifts on social media, prompting Democratic lawmakers to quickly and publicly shut down the visible demonstration of support for local law enforcement.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced on Friday that the Thin Blue Line flag would not be hung by his police department, WBFF reported.

The police department shared the news in a series of tweets that contained the edict from the county executive.

"Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and I understand the concerns of the community,” the message began. "The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others. Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department."

"Under my administration, we are committed to improving police relations with the community and will immediately address any action that stands against our mission,” Elrich finished.

A Montgomery County police officer told Blue Lives Matter that officers were disheartened by the county executive’s announcement.

“I feel like they’ve politicized a flag meant to honor officers that have sacrificed their lives for this profession and their communities,” the officer said.

Another officer said he was upset that a gift from a little kid to police had been criticized.

"It's unbelievable an innocent kid can't give a gift without being criticized and having politics getting involved," the officer told Blue Lives Matter.

"He spends countless hours working on it and people like the county executive want to throw it in the trash," the angry officer continued. "What should we do next? Throw away pictures that little kids in school make for the police? It's a sad day for Montgomery County and even worse for our executive."

Anti-police activists have repeatedly tried to claim that the Thin Blue Line flag is a symbol for white supremacists.

But in fact, the “Thin Blue Line” has been popular with law enforcement officers since the 1950s as a show of support for police and as a memorial to fallen officers.

"Anti-police activists routinely make false claims about pro-police symbols to dissuade people from openly showing support for police,” said Christopher Berg, Editor-in-Chief of Blue Lives Matter. "It's cowardly to cater to these baseless claims."

Perhaps in anticipation of a negative reaction from his troops, the Montgomery County Police Department’s 5th District Commander, Captain Mark Plazinski, sent out an email to his officers telling them to keep their heads up.

Capt. Plazinski, who was out of town when the controversy erupted, promised his officers they would discuss the matter more upon his return.

“I know that many of you will be upset by this decision,” the captain wrote in the message, a copy of which was obtained by Blue Lives Matter. “I urge you to remain positive and keep your heads up.”

“I am very proud to be a part of this police department with each one of you,” the captain continued his pep talk. “I am also extremely proud of this profession. As a whole we do great and heroic work on a daily basis. Be strong and be safe.”

Comments (67)
No. 1-41
WatchYourSix
WatchYourSix

Unreal. So much for free speech if it doesn't fit peoples' pandering political agendas. Politicians need to stop being scared of these liberal idiots and the liberal idiots need to pick their battles instead of looking for anything and everything to be upset about. Fucking grow a pair. Pussies.

Woobie46
Woobie46

ANOTHER Chief without a SPINE! People like these should NEVER be allowed into law enforcement and even if a mistake was made, they should IMMEDIATELY be pushed out the door. PUSH THEM ALL!

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

"The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others. Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department."

Every flag is divisive. Free speech is protected in all public spaces.

When the local government tells you what flags are allowed, and which are not, that's exactly what the First Amendment is meant to protect us from.

On July 22, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed an executive order prohibiting county officials — under threat of termination — from asking residents about their immigration status or cooperating with ICE.

June 10th, 2019 - Marc Elrich takes part in historic raising of the Rainbow Flag...

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

I am almost certain I could find a half-eaten sandwich somewhere that had a more loyal regard for what it means to protect and serve. The logic of this decision resembles driving everywhere blindfolded in reverse whilst spitting tobacco juice out a window you didn’t open. That police chief only purchased contempt from those he so willingly submitted to.

DNW
DNW

I suppose this little boy and his father don't count as members of the "community" to Mr. Elrich? What a strange - and revealing - statement.

Oldblue2
Oldblue2

Isn’t there blue in the gay flag??? Ass hat

Aramovich
Aramovich

What if, one day all the police people in the nation should call in sick? The ensuing mess would take years to clean up. Anti cops should try to do the job, just one day. Idiots.

flybynight
flybynight

Call it the black lives matter flag and watch it sail through. /sarc

Bamawoman71
Bamawoman71

This is upsetting. People get offended every day. GROW UP ! It's called life. These people are here to help us. They protect and serve they dont judge you when you need them. So stop judging them. Politics need to be left out of this.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

First place, this is a work of art given by a patriotic spirited citizen that him and his son made! If someone takes offense, that's on them for being brain dead! 100%fed up with this bullsh#t!

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Absolutely shameful. We fly both the US Flag and a Thin Blue Line flag by our front door, and woe be to anyone who complains or were try to vandalize or take either of them down.

mrd183
mrd183

Chief, sometimes the more you bend, the more your ass shows.

DirtyJ
DirtyJ

I, unfortunately, live in this “Sanctuary” county. I am very open minded and welcoming of all people, but the Democrat policies and agendas have turned Montgomery County from one of the richest counties in the nation to a cesspool filled with crime, falling-apart infrastructure, and anti-police citizens and lawmakers. The political correctness here is unhinged. Taxes are through the roof. I, for one, hope to move out of this county as soon as possible. The morale with police officers isn’t just low. It is nonexistent. They have zero support. Not from their leaders, not from the businesses, and not from the majority of the citizens. Montgomery County has become a “Mini” California.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Apparently the county executive and the police chief are more interested in improving police relations by pacifying a bunch of ignorant anti-police loudmouths than improving relations with the police department.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

"Anti-police activists slammed the flag gifts on social media, prompting Democratic lawmakers to quickly and publicly shut down the visible demonstration of support for local law enforcement."

This is the reason I joined this site.

The "war on cops" has reached a point, where I consider it the greatest threat to our nation.

kjml
kjml

"Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and I understand the concerns of the community." Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich each need to borrow "a pair" from the men and women they should be supporting. Worried about the feelings of criminals and cop-haters, but not the good citizens they serve. What rubbish. I have another name for them, but it would offend my cats.

bronx163
bronx163

.

bronx163
bronx163

Just proves the politicians wish death on cops.

Cops should sit back let the savage left and cop haters sack society. You piss and shit on those who are the line between chaos and stability, i say fuck em. Let it all burn.

Give them hands off. Let their areas turn into baltimore, detroit, newark nj, shit-cago, Hartford ct, dc, la calf, and list goes on.

DO NOT PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR A THANKLESS CITY.

BACK YOUR FELLOW COPS EVERYONE ELSE. FUCK EM.

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

Unbelievable!!!! Time for the County Executive to be fired or voted out of office! The people of Montgomery County need to rise in opposition to this absurd hater of law enforcement and tell him the way it will be. Remember, he works for them, not visa-versa!!!! Just another example of people who don't care about BLUE and what they do! I wish police from all around the state would pounce on this County Executive's place fo work and peacefully protest. It's time WE stand up and be seen and heard!!!

BanditOne
BanditOne

I rely hope this county exec. gets his ass kicked and we'll see who he calls first.

Sailor
Sailor

Ass hat Elrich is a Symbol of Stupidity and Divisiveness.

Sailor
Sailor

Oh yeah. .don't think a County government official can deny free speech rights to anyone and flag displays are free speech!

Forevrblue
Forevrblue

People of this great country... When did we start getting so offended by every little thing??!!! A flag was made out of love and respect to support our law enforcement officers. It should be displayed. It was a gift!!! Chiefs, Sheriff's.. when did you forget what it was like to wear that badge? Politicians...zip it!!!! You need to start backing your officers. Look what you're doing to them. To the offended public...you judge all law enforcement by a few. Shame on you!!! When your in need you call the people you hate so much to help you!!! Whether you believe it or not they put their lives on the line every single day for you, and for your children. There are some great officers out there!!! Celebrate them!!! Pray for them!!!! Work with them instead of against them!!!!

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

All of these cowardly politicians and police chiefs want to make the thugs happy. When things are in complete chaos, they may regret that they are backing the wrong group. George Soros and Obama started this war on cops. I am sure these cowards would support any other flag. We all know they would. Even if they were flags of groups detrimental to our country.

rds40
rds40

The comments on their Facebook page is not very kind. Gues that idiot thought it would win support. Wring.....

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The higher ups make these rules for a reason. The policemen will simply have to follow orders here. If the flag needs to be destroyed then the police chief should do it himself and not relegate the flag burning to the rank and file.

gfc1963
gfc1963

These activists are now picking on kids?? They can't get any lower. They should have told that idiot to fuck off and place it in the police station.

Wolfman2253
Wolfman2253

A political hack issuing edits in violation of Free Speech and an acting chief who lives on his knees as a political slurper....as the county exec what day he’s gonna raise the isis flag? SMH

Stanracer
Stanracer

Once again...politicians that won't back their own police service. They should be ashamed of themselves. ☹👎

Janken
Janken

OH MY GOD SOME PEOPLE WERE OFFENDED. WELL ONE GUESS THE UGLY LEFTIST IDIOTS

Brockettj
Brockettj

The Liberals Strick’s again

Ltpar
Ltpar

Screw feeling "disheartened." The Officers should first take a "Vote of No Confidence" on the County Administrator and also the Police Chef. The Police Union should then get involved and promote the First Responder Flags themselves. They should take their case directly to the people in the community who support their Police and to Hell with those who don't.

Patriot63
Patriot63

With all of the liberal morons attacking and disrespecting them anyone who wants to show there support in any way should be left alone because it's there 1st Amendment right.

sizzle937
sizzle937

I have the thin blue line decal in the back window of my car. Ok this is about the forth one. All have been peeled by someone. Usually only half comes off.

33Kim
33Kim

I would gladly accept a blue line flag. I’m tired of all the negativity that’s going on in the world. The Officer’s Deserve respect. The men & women I work with deserve no less.

BStack
BStack

I've heard "01-01-20" is set to be a Nationwide Blue Flu (NBF) day. If true, the opposition to our freedoms (speech, expression, etc.) will have nobody to call (or blame) but themselves. We'll see.

Grampsdeal
Grampsdeal

Elrich, you are a spineless, good-for-nothing, limp noodle, cowering under a rainbow, leftist boot licking coward! You are no LEO. You have no pride in your job and you lack integrity! May you be removed from office without any type of severance pay and without retirement benefits. You disgust me and every LEO and FIRE supporter, you lily livered, butt chomping, fudge packer.

convertibleguy
convertibleguy

Thank God I’m a police officer in the South where we’re respected...

Wish505
Wish505

I understand the states gov stepped in on this and called this decision BS.

skipk1962
skipk1962

Sounds like Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is definitely a part of the problem and not the solution.