Hartford, CT – The leader of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus in the Connecticut state house has submitted a written request to have the Thin Blue Line flag he objected to put back up on the Capitol’s police memorial wall.
The wooden Thin Blue Line flag, handmade by an officer and donated to the police memorial wall in the Connecticut capitol building, was 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 at the time.
“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.”
Law enforcement and its supporters responded angrily to the announcement that the flag had been removed.
“On behalf of the House Republican Caucus we would like to make it clear that we stand with our State Capitol Police and support their donation of the handmade American Flag, created by one of their own officers. This flag is a source of pride and unity for not only our police unit here at the Capitol, but their families, and the families of those in law enforcement around the State of Connecticut,” the state House Republican Caucus said in a statement to WTIC.
The president of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police, which represents thousands of officers, called the removal of the flag 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 “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.
“Thin Blue Line was out way before Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, any of these associations,” Krupinsky told WTIC.
McGee said that he and Krupinsky talked, and that the FOP president educated him more about the origin of the Thin Blue Line flag.
“I was glad we were able to reach out and speak to each other on this matter,” Krupinsky said.
McGee said he requested, in writing, that the flag be reinstated after their chat on Wednesday night, WTIC reported.
“I hope that this conversation does not stop today,” McGee told WTIC.
He said he thought the incident had created a good opportunity to discuss race relations.
“Hopefully we can put this behind us and really work on issues that are facing the state,” the lawmaker said.
The Office of Legislative Management, who is responsible for all of the artwork in the Capitol building, hasn't said when the flag will be reinstalled.