Hartford, CT – A wooden Thin Blue Line flag donated to the police memorial wall in the Connecticut capitol building has been taken down because Black Lives Matter supporters were offended.
“The State Capitol Police Department donated a thin blue line flag which now hangs next to a portrait of the Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial at the State Capitol. SCPD will never forget the loss of officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families,” the Connecticut State Capitol Police posted on their official Facebook page on Jan. 17.
They posted a picture of a group of Capitol police officers posing with the Thin Blue Line flag wall hanging, which was being held by a police official.
The Capitol police also posted pictures of the flag newly mounted in the area specifically reserved for the police memorial.
But the Thin Blue Line flag lasted only one month in its place of honor because its presence offended Black Lives Matter supporters.
“In the context of history behind it, a lot of my members expressed a lot of concerns, especially in this building,” Democratic Connecticut State Representative Brandon McGee told WVIT.
McGee is chairman of the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus.
“We are not anti - you know - police we support our men in blue but we also know that given the history around black people, people of color with respect to this particular issue,” McGee continued. “I just think it was necessary to share our concerns with our leadership.”
The “Thin Blue Line” flag, which is a sign of support for active-duty police officers and a symbol of honor for fallen officers, has been frequently mislabeled by Black Lives Matter activists.
They claim that the flag is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The “Thin Blue Line” flag was created long before Black Lives Matter ever existed.
In fact, the term “thin blue line” has been popular with law enforcement officers since the 1950s.
"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."
The president of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police, which represents thousands of officers, said the removal of the flag was an attack on police officers, WVIT reported.
“I’m saddened and disappointed that in times the times we’re in now that something like this could actually happen,” FOP President John Krupinsky said.
The Office of Legislative Management, who is responsible for all of the artwork in the Capitol building, said they had skipped the usual vetting process for the Thin Blue Line flag since it was going on a dedicated police wall.
However, the same people who put it up said they made the decision to take it down, WVIT reported.
Just recently, the village of Mount Prospect in Illinois faced similar criticism after a Thin Blue Line flag appeared on the town’s vehicle sticker.
Initially, village leadership caved to complaints and promised to stop sales of the pro-police sticker while they ordered new ones.
But that decision generated backlash from police supporters and the village leadership changed their minds quickly.
Before the decision was made to redesign the sticker, Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek was vocal about her concerns over ceding control to “those who misappropriate and distort legitimate symbols," the Daily Herald reported.
"It has obviously taken on a much deeper meaning," the mayor said. "But the more we lend legitimacy to that meaning, I think it lends undeserved credibility to the efforts of those who have taken it to themselves for their own message."
The compromise was to sell both stickers at the village hall, and let residents decide which one they wanted to put on their vehicles, Juracek said.